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SEC Tournament Probabilities


After yesterday’s blowout loss in Gainesville, Kentucky’s odds to win the SEC Tournament understandably took a tumble. But just how much of a hit did the Cats sustain yesterday? Well, by using one of the internet’s most reliable rating systems and Bill James’ Log5 method for game prediction, we can see Kentucky’s exact odds to win the annual conference clash. I calculated the odds using Ken Pomeroy’s data and figured out round-by-round win probabilities for every team in the SEC.

data via

data via

As you can obviously see, Florida is the overwhelming favorite to take home the conference tournament crown with nearly a 50% chance to win. The data gives Tennessee, the tournament’s 4 seed, the second best chance to win the tournament with a 20% probability. Kentucky, though fairly far back in the ratings compared to Tennessee, has a nearly the same chance to win the SEC Tournament as do the Vols. Our 17% chance to win the title is largely due to the weakness of teams on our side of the bracket. Of course, our recent struggles guarantee absolutely nothing. Other than Florida, Tennessee, and Kentucky, no other team has a very realistic shot at winning the annual conference tournament. Of course, anything could happen as Ole Miss only had a 4% chance to win in 2013.

Article written by Jonathan Schuette

37 responses to “SEC Tournament Probabilities”

  1. Blue

    Wow 17% chance?? I’m kicking myself for canceling my reservations and selling my tickets.

  2. rupp

    Lets get behind this time and show up in Catlanta. Tired of these fairweather fans. Get to Atlanta and help support this team! They will need us.

    1. Blue

      Sorry but it’s an economics thing for me. Do I go and possibly watch them lose their first games or do I save a couple thousand bucks and watch them at home? With this team it was an easy division from an economic standpoint. It doesn’t mean I’m a “fair weather fan”.

    2. UK

      No! You can’t support the team when they’ve been inconsistent! That’s preposterous! (Complete sarcasm, good to see there are still fans like you)

    3. Blue

      Decision not division.

    4. Say Tan

      Fair weather fans my ass. This is an easy one, if you have the cash to throw away I say go. If you’re on the fence there is no way it’s worth the $$.

    5. White

      I’m sure none of us have cash to throw away. But I think what he meant is that to not go just because we haven’t played well is not being a good fan. If these kids see us give up on them what do you think they’re going to do? We are supposed to support them. It’s easy for us to sit on the couch and critique everything they do and say they aren’t trying. They are, they deal with classes, media, practices, all the pressures of playing at UK. The least we can do is support these kids who play for our team.

    6. binarysolo

      @White While I certainly see your point, I don’t believe these kids play for our team. They’re playing for NBA contracts.

  3. Inspector

    I think it is time for these guys to play like each and every game is their last and what ever happens, happens. Because the are not doing anything playing the way they are playing right now.
    GO BIG BLUE !!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. gocats

    Statistics are meaningless.Desire,and the will to win are the ingredients necessary for a tournament run,and this UK team hasn’t shown that.

  5. Lloyd

    so you’re saying there’s a chance

  6. White

    I’ll be in ATL this weekend. We must turn the GA dome into a sea of blue. Make it like a home game and give this team the confidence they need.

  7. truth is spoken

    BOLD PREDICTION: we make it to the SEC championship and lose to Florida.

    1. Rob in Florida

      How about Kentucky vs. Arkansas in the final and WE WIN!

  8. Greg

    I normally go and support the team. But since the players are first and they don’t put the team first, I’ll pass on this one.

    1. WOW

      Dude your such a badass, why don’t you go and cheer for Louisville in the AAC tournament while your at it.

    2. Greg.

      And it’s “you’re”. It’s not that hard.

  9. Sam Jones

    We probably draw LSU in the first game. We got pretty well handled at their place at it took late game heroics to pull it out here. I am not predicting a loss, but losing to LSU in the first round of the SEC tournament is a distinct possibility.

    1. binarysolo

      Ya, I don’t fully grasp how the percentages are calculated, but I’m curious as to how we are numerically favored to beat a team that beat us on their home court and took us to OT on our court.

      Of course a win would be great, but I have a feeling the math formula left off a key variable called Johnny O’Bryant.

  10. Shivers

    Probably going to continue to disappoint just as they have all season.

  11. Sam Jones

    The real difficulty is that if we get bounced quickly there is just no chance to turn the ship around. We limp into the NCAA with no confidence and low expectations, the perfect recipe for a first round exit. Ideally we would get a second crack at Florida even if we lose the game.

  12. me

    I would think our chances of beating LSU are 50-50 at best. Let’s face it…they are a huge problem matchup wise for us.

  13. playersfan

    KY had no chance of winning the tournament, why do we keep saying they do. They can’t play defense, they can’t keep from stepping out of bounds, they can’t pass, but most of all they can’t shoot, and there are no enough dunk opportunities to win a game.

    1. White

      Glad we have fans like you..

  14. macon_volfan

    I love the ‘math’ of this, but when rubber hits the road, it’s the SEC Tournament, and UK has won more than any team, ever. That stat trumps math every time. There’s nothing more that I would love to see than a UT/UK final on Sunday.

    1. Yeah…

      How past teams have done in the SEC tournament have nothing to do with this teams chances. I’m not saying the percentages are accurate by any means, but history certainly doesn’t trump current statistical probabilities.

  15. WCS FAN

    A lot of fans are giving up on the CATS, hope they don’t give up on themselves. The last 5 games sure have been a specially unpleasant to watch, but maybe they will start to figure out how important each possesion is and start playing better in the tourney. One can only hope.
    One thing not mention in the comments is how Julius Randle has played hard for us this year. Despite being double and triple teamed, he seems to be the one player who’s trying hard and wanting to win more than we give him credit. Just imagine if we had good perimeter shooting and guard play that opened the middle up what a force he could be. Just a thought

    1. Noggin

      James Young did make 3 or 4 threes last game which I thought really opened up the floor for Randle for a stretch in the game. But the fact that we can’t shoot near consistently shuts down a large part of our offense and allows the defense to double down and play a few feet off of our guards. Against

  16. Sam Jones

    There was one play in the FL game where the guard made it all the way to the rim, our defense collapsed, and FL guard makes a really great feed for a corner three in the direction that the Kentucky help D came from. There was no chance for us to recover and FL gets a wide open bucket. I really wish we got more of that from this team. Part of the reason our offense is so stagnant is that we just pass the ball along the path of least resistance. Our better point guards have had the awareness and talent to drive, collapse the D, and make a pass that puts the defense in a bind. This team either cannot or will not do that, and therefore most all our shots are contested to some extent.

    1. WCS FAN

      I agree

    2. harry

      Agreed and confused as to why that is not improved or changed.

    3. binarysolo

      Oh yeah, we do stuff like that all the time. One of our guards would be checking an opposing guard on the perimeter, then the opposition drives to the basket, our guy would collapse and end up mashing himself behind an opposing big man (at which point he can’t guard or get in position for a rebound) leaving his guy wide open, and his man would get an open look.

  17. Casper

    What are the chances the Twins go pro?

    1. harry

      They can go pro, no one is picking’em just yet, good guards are dime a dozen at the next level. So what are the chances of a guaranteed contract? slim to none

    2. 50/50

      I’d say 50/50. If they leave they’ll get drafted. Teams would rather them stay so they can evaluate them longer, but if they come out someone will take a chance. They’re both worth a 2nd round pick at minimum, especially 2nd round since contracts aren’t guaranteed. I think they’d be better served coming back to improve their stock, but teenagers are gonna do what they’re gonna do. I’m not sure how their relationship is with Cal these days either. That goes for all the players. I haven’t heard anything and I’m not trying to start rumors, but Cal has been on everybody pretty hardcore the past few months.

  18. Pistol Pete

    I don’t think we will win the tourney but we did get about as favorable draw as possible. What I consider the three toughest teams, Arkansas, Tennessee and Florida are in the other bracket. I know LSU is lurking but they are not as good as the three I mentioned. Georgia has had a great run a but they had a favorable schedule and only played most of the better teams one time. I think we can make the finals but don’t like our chances in that game.

  19. jdog

    Tired of excuses. Not pleased with effort coaching staff…athletic association as a whole.