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SEC Tournament Bye in jeopardy

Kentucky has had a first round bye in all but three of the SEC Tournaments in the last twenty years. One of those was Gillispie’s last year so it doesn’t even count. The other two were in Tubby’s disappointing final seasons, when he was a halfway out the door. But here we are this year, Kentucky is “back on top”, and that bye into the second round is almost out of reach and Kentucky could find itself playing on the first day of the tournament just two years into the John Calipari era.

Florida has all but locked up the #1 seed in the East with a 9-2 record. Vanderbilt’s win over Georgia last night moved them into second place at 7-4 and Georgia dropped to a third place tie with Kentucky and Tennessee at 6-5.  Only five games remain on the conference schedule and that stretch will be crucial, as Florida, Kentucky, and Vanderbilt will all play each other and Tennessee will get a shot at three of the four teams competing for a bye. Even though Georgia is still in it mathematically, we’ll just go ahead and say they’re out of it because we all know that’s the case.  Check out the remaining five games for each contender…


Florida: @ LSU, vs. Georgia, @ Kentucky, vs. Alabama, @ Vanderbilt

Vanderbilt: @ Auburn, vs. Tennessee, @ LSU, @ Kentucky, vs. Florida

Georgia: @ Tennessee, @ Florida, vs. South Carolina, vs. LSU, @ Alabama

Tennessee: vs. Georgia, @ Vanderbilt, vs. Mississippi State, @ South Carolina, vs. Kentucky

Kentucky: vs. South Carolina, @ Arkansas, vs. Florida, vs. Vanderbilt, @ Tennessee


Florida will likely win its next two games so the Gators would have to lose the final three to drop out of first place. So, again, they’ve all but clinched the #1 seed. Vanderbilt has two cupcakes on the schedule with Auburn and LSU, and then home games against Tennessee and Florida.  With the ‘Dores one-game cushion, and… let’s say… a 3-1 record in those four games, Vandy is looking pretty good for finishing second in the SEC East.

In order for Kentucky to move up into that second spot, the Cats need to win out.  Plain and simple.  They could still get some help if Vandy drops a couple games but let’s not sit around and hope for that to happen. South Carolina and Arkansas are “should-win” games. Florida and Vandy at home are “must-win” games.  Win those four and Kentucky could be playing for a bye against those low down, dirty snitches on “Brian Williams & Steven Pearl Night” in Knoxville.

If Kentucky does miss out on a bye, it’s not the end of the world. Two of the last four SEC Tournament Champions played on the first day.  Plus, it gives us an extra day of entertainment in Atlanta.

Article written by Drew Franklin

I can recite every line from Forrest Gump, blindfolded. Follow me on Twitter: @DrewFranklinKSR

15 Comments for SEC Tournament Bye in jeopardy

  1. TSlone08
    3:55 pm February 18, 2011 Permalink

    I think we can win out.. Let’s see how bad this team wants it.

  2. Willis talkin bout..
    4:02 pm February 18, 2011 Permalink

    Lets see how bad they want it? When your coach says to the national media that he doesn’t care about the SEC or the SEC Tournament.. why should they care? So far that is my only complaint with Cal, and the only thing i believe he “doesn’t get” about UK fans.. the SEC matters!

  3. Appalachian Wonder
    4:10 pm February 18, 2011 Permalink

    Missing the bye may not be the end of the world, but it’s the end of any SEC championship hope. No way this thin bench can win 4 games in 4 days. Will support them either way, but 3 in 3 days is a stretch.

  4. Don
    4:43 pm February 18, 2011 Permalink

    There will be upsets in the Tournament, and I think we’ll make it through. Looking forward to seeing how they handle themselves in their first SEC Tournament.

  5. JimmyDykesSchtick
    4:54 pm February 18, 2011 Permalink


  6. numbers
    4:56 pm February 18, 2011 Permalink

    This is a pretty interesting site that crunches the numbers to come up with some seeding probabilities and clinching scenarios for all kinds of sports leagues, including SEC basketball:

    Bonus: no ads, no membership, just some good raw info.

  7. Biglaw Dawgin
    4:57 pm February 18, 2011 Permalink

    Remind me again why we are writing off a Georgia team who beat the Cats and came w/in a tip-in from beating the Vols?

  8. Jaws2
    5:00 pm February 18, 2011 Permalink

    # 2, I agree completely. How could the players care when the coach publicly makes it no big deal. I get where Cal heads with
    this type of talk, but he can’t expect the players to totally commit to winning the SEC if he isn’t. For a guy that’s so
    marketing savvy Cal comes up with some weird statements every now and then. If anything he can think this, but should NEVER
    broadcast it publicy.

  9. carolinacat
    5:01 pm February 18, 2011 Permalink

    It will be difficult for a team that plays 6 guys to win the tournament.

  10. Biglaw Dawgin
    5:04 pm February 18, 2011 Permalink

    News on Syphergate – Ricky’s girl just got sentanced to 7 years and three months in federal prison, with two years supervised release to follow. Federal prison, unlike most states with early release programs, usually carries a requirement of serving 85% of your sentence even with good behavior. For those of you keeping score at home, that’s 6.16 years of jail time (assuming she minds her p’s and q’s).

    Here’s the AP link:

  11. CatFan4444
    5:23 pm February 18, 2011 Permalink

    don’t know why I thought this was the year to go to the SEC tournament, maybe cause it’s in Atlanta again and tix can be bought..unlike when they play in Nashville..but I got tickets for this year’s SECT and for some reason don’t think I will be getting my $$ worth. Saying UK prolly won’t be around long but please folks, tell me I’m wrong and comfort me!!!

  12. Andrew
    6:36 pm February 18, 2011 Permalink

    I think there is a real chance that they could win the SEC tourney because those that travel to the SEC T are the real fans of Kentucky basketball and make it one of the most amazing home court advantages you will ever see. There are usually an extra 8,000 people who are just in town to be around the event, but who do not even have tickets! The kids will get to experience that incredibly vocal enthusiastic fanbase that truly makes up BBN. It is so amazing to be in Atlanta and walk into the Georgia Dome on the first with two two non Kentucky teams playing and the majority of the fans in attendance are UK fans. It is truly incredible. It gets so loud and that will help the freshmen through the anxieties of the post season as well as providing a nice boost if they get fatigued.

    I live in Atlanta and will be in attendance so like you I pray they will get to the final day of the tournament!

  13. HartcoCat
    8:09 pm February 18, 2011 Permalink

    We will get to watch 4 games instead of 3!!! 🙂

  14. Sheeeeiiit
    8:57 pm February 18, 2011 Permalink

    Remember the Maui classic. We looked great until the last game. We NEED the bye or the best we can expect is getting to the final. I think they will play great in the tourney but will also gas out if we have to play 4 games.

  15. Viren
    11:43 pm February 18, 2011 Permalink

    Am really thinking about making the trip where did you buy your SEC T tix #11?