It’s hard to believe, but we are less than two weeks away from invading Nashville for the SEC Tournament. The Most Wonderful Time of the Year is almost here.
Normally I spend the weekend roaming Broadway and raising hell with my compadres, but this year is different. For the first time, I’ll be working during the tournament. I don’t know how I’ll handle it, so I’m going to do my best to get ahead by ranking Kentucky’s potential tournament matchups, from best to worst.
The Tigers can shoot threes, and under Bruce Pearl they have had no trouble scoring against Kentucky. They hit enough to beat Kentucky earlier this year, but that’s why I believe the Cats would win by more than 90. A hungry Kentucky team will ensure to exact revenge if they see the Tigers, and there’s nothing I’d rather see more.
Not only would it be an easy victory, but it would also prompt some serious questions, like, “Are they even supposed to be here?”
Even though they’re fans think they are good enough to keep up with Kentucky, the Razorbacks are not, especially the 2016 edition. Arkansas struggles to score and they’re “40 minutes of Hell” is more like purgatory. Kentucky handled them by 14 AT Bud Walton. I’m confident they’d win by at least that many with the BBN behind them. I’m not sure why, but I also really, REALLY enjoy beating Arkansas.
Without an Eastern European roaming the post, Georgia has somehow been a bubble team, but without much merit. Their backcourt is decent, but can’t do a damn thing against Ulis, Murray and Briscoe.
Bama isn’t bad at all. Avery Johnson has done well in his first year, but they only have one person that can consistently score, Retin Obasohan. To put it simply, they don’t match up well with Kentucky at all.
6. Ole Miss
Two words: Stefan Moody.
7. Mississippi State
Their record is terrible, and I’m not scared at all by Malik Newman, but the Bulldogs are on a heater. After beating South Carolina earlier today, they would’ve won four in a row if not for some home cookin’ from officials in College Station, . Besides, if the Cats play the Bulldogs you’re bound to hear at least one cowbell. One cowbell is one too many cowbells.
As we saw today, Vandy is pretty scary when they’re hitting shots. Even though they have great pieces to knock off the Cats, I want to see them again. Not just because of the “revenge” factor, because of their snotty fans. They are some of the most obnoxious, court-storming sons of ******* that deserve to have their town covered in blue before they get beatdown so badly, the only proper response is to fire Kevin
from The Office Stallings.
Florida has exceptional athletes that can keep up with Kentucky. Mike White has overachieved as a first year head coach, but this team doesn’t have the shooters to string together a tournament run. Dorian Finney-Smith dropped 24 points the last time the two met, but that’s because the person built to guard him, Alex Poythress, did not play.
10. Texas A&M
A&M has the proper pieces to be a great team in March — Danuel House, Alex Caruso and Tyler Smith — they may have peaked too early, struggling down the stretch. A depleted Kentucky roster nearly ground out a victory in Reed Arena. With a healthy team and a home atmosphere, revenge will be sweet.
Call me crazy, but I just don’t want to play them again. I don’t know what it is about the Vols, but the way they score against the Cats makes me nervous. Of all the bottom-feeders, Tennessee is the last one I want to see on Friday.
The only reason they aren’t the most difficult matchup is because of the uncertainty of Keith Hornsby’s status. If they have their best perimeter shooter, they’re objectively the most difficult matchup. Not only do they have a ton of talent, they’re playing for their postseason lives. After losing their way off the bubble, it’s SEC Tournament Championship or NIT. Even though they have Ben Simmons, Antonio Blakeney, Tim Quarterman and Craig Victor, Kentucky has the X Factor — Johnny Jones.
13. South Carolina
The South Carolina win was the most satisfying victory of conference play. There’s no doubt. Frank Martin said later that week that Kentucky “crushed our soul.” If anyone has Kentucky in their crosshairs, it’s the Gamecocks.
They have a formidable backcourt with a freshman phenom, P.J. Dozier, and a vet that can control the pace, Sindarius Thornwell. They have a bruising frontcourt, led by Michael Carrera. Carrera is easy to hate, but the man gets the job done. They also have a head coach with eyes that will pierce your soul.
I’m confident the Cats will run the table to win the SEC, but the Top Three in the SEC are better than what we’ve seen recently at Bridgestone Arena. Which team scares YOU the most?