Alabama Crimson Tide favored to win SEC Conference Basketball Tournament
The SEC Tournament is shaping up to be fantastic for basketball fans and bettors alike. These programs beat up on one another all season long, with 10 teams winning at least eight conference games this year. That means that these teams are all going to feel like they can beat one another, which should make for a really competitive tournament when these groups head to a neutral site. The Alabama Crimson Tide are currently the favorites to come away victorious here, but that doesn’t mean it’s a foregone conclusion that they will. Keep reading to find out exactly how we anticipate this one will play out.
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SEC Conference Tournament Bracket
How to Watch the SEC Conference Tournament
When: March 8-12
Where: Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee
Format: Seeding based on record within conference; top-10 seeds get byes into the second round; top-four teams go through to quarterfinals
Watch: SEC Network, ESPN; Championship Game on ESPN on Mar. 12 at 1:00 p.m. ET
SEC Conference Tournament Seeds, Teams and Odds
1. Alabama Crimson Tide (+150)
2. Texas A&M Aggies (+500)
3. Kentucky Wildcats (+450)
4. Missouri Tigers (+2500)
5. Tennessee Volunteers (+300)
6. Vanderbilt Commodores (+4000)
7. Auburn Tigers (+1200)
8. Florida Gators (+10000)
9. Mississippi State Bulldogs (+5000)
10. Arkansas Razorbacks (+1200)
11. Georgia Bulldogs (+50000)
12. South Carolina Gamecocks (80000)
13. Ole Miss Rebels (+50000)
14. LSU Tigers (+100000)
Favorite To Win SEC Conference Tournament
The Crimson Tide finished the season with the best record in the SEC, with the Aggies ending the year just one game behind them. Alabama has a top-10 defense, reliable guards and a legitimate superstar in Brandon Miller. Having the best player on the floor is always a huge advantage in neutral-court tournaments. The Tide also have the ability to make opponents uncomfortable with their up-tempo style. But we just saw Texas A&M defeat Alabama, so this group is far from unbeatable.
SEC Conference Tournament Darkhorse
Arkansas is almost too talented to be labeled a darkhorse, but the Razorbacks finished just ninth in the SEC during the regular season. However, Arkansas has the firepower you need to win a tournament like this, with potential NBA lottery picks Nick Smith Jr. and Anthony Black being extremely tough for opposing guards to cover. And neither of them even lead the Razorbacks in scoring, as Ricky Council IV is putting up 16.5 points per game for this group. If somebody can step up and give Arkansas some solid minutes around the basket, the sky's the limit for this program.
Players to Watch in SEC Conference Tournament
Alabama’s Miller is arguably the best player in college basketball this year, and he looks like he’s going to be in the running to be the third player selected in the 2023 NBA Draft. The 6-foot-9 forward is an absolute sniper from deep, and he has become more and more comfortable creating off the dribble as the season has progressed. His ability to score the basketball is what makes the Crimson Tide so dangerous.
We mentioned Arkansas’ trio of studs earlier, but they deserve a little more attention than that. These are legitimately three of the best players in the conference. Smith Jr. is an extremely gifted scorer, while Black is a playmaker that consistently puts pressure on the rim and has the ability to defend most guards and then some small forwards. Meanwhile, Council IV is a guard that isn’t very comfortable shooting from deep, but he is a great athlete and has good touch on his floaters. These three are going to be fun to watch the rest of the way.
Kentucky is another team with quite a few players we can highlight, but we’ll just stick to Oscar Tshiebwe and Cason Wallace. Tshiebwe was the 2021 National Player of the Year and he can dominate games with his presence around the rim. He’s an absolute bull on the glass and he’s also tough to stop when he catches the ball anywhere near the basket. Meanwhile, Wallace is another tremendous NBA Draft prospect from this class. He’s unbelievable at attacking the rim and just creating offense for himself. Late in big games, he should stand out for the Wildcats.
We should also mention Wade Taylor IV, who is averaging 16.3 points per game for a Texas A&M team that has been great this year. Taylor IV can really light it up for Buzz Williams’ team, as evidenced by the 25 points he had in a win over Tennessee on February 21st. He also poured in 28 in a win over Alabama in the regular-season finale.
Betting Pick to Win SEC Conference Tournament
Alabama has been the top team in this conference all year long, but Kentucky was excellent in the second half of the season — if you can put aside that miserable home loss to Vanderbilt. In the month of February, the Wildcats were sixth in the nation in adjusted offensive efficiency, according to T-Rank. That’s a big deal considering we know we can generally rely on a John Calipari defense to show up in big games — or at least drag opponents into an ugly game. It’s the offense that usually sputters in key moments, but this group looks like it can come up with buckets when it counts. For that reason, we suggest taking a shot on the Wildcats at these odds.