For only the third time in history, four teams from the Southeastern Conference have qualified for the Sweet 16. Kentucky, Tennessee, Auburn and LSU have all punched their tickets for the NCAA Tournament’s next round. The Conference also sent four teams to the second weekend back in 1986 and 1996.
The expectations surrounding Kentucky and the tournament are, obviously, much higher than they tend to be for the other SEC teams. Regardless, it’s been a pretty strong season for the nation’s “football conference.” John Calipari has brought the Cats to the second weekend of March in eight of his ten seasons with Kentucky, but the other qualifiers aren’t quite as familiar with the Sweet 16.
LSU was the first team to punch their ticket, qualifying in dramatic fashion over No. 6 Maryland. They’re going for the first time since 2006. It’s been even longer for Auburn – the Tigers advanced for the first time since 2003. Tennessee qualified for the first time since 2014 and for the seventh time in school history.
Of the SEC’s 14 teams, seven qualified for the Big Dance. Now, four remain. Come next weekend, a quarter of the bracket will belong to SEC teams.