SEC Tournament Bracket Is Set

Two Southeastern Conference basketball games in the state of Tennessee over the past few hours have had an effect on the fortunes of the Alabama basketball team.

Alabama finished regular season play Saturday afternoon with a 65-57 victory over Georgia. That left the Crimson Tide of Coach Anthony Grant with a 20-10 record, including a 12-4 SEC record. Bama has been the SEC Western Division champion for a couple of weeks.

Saturday night, Bama's chance to be co-champion of the conference was lost when Vanderbilt was unable to defeat Florida. The Gators finish the season as the league champion with a 13-3 record.

On Sunday, Kentucky defeated Tennessee in Knoxville, completing SEC regular season play.

Next up is the SEC Tournament at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, which begins Thursday.

The top two teams in each division earn a first round bye for the tournament. Kentucky's win put the Wildcats into second place with a 10-6 conference record. Either a Vanderbilt win or a Kentucky loss would have given the Commodores that second place position.

Alabama and Kentucky are in the same bracket and will meet on Saturday if they are successful in Friday games.

Alabama will play at 1 p.m. EST (noon central time) Friday against the winner of Thursday's game between Georgia, the four seed from the East, against Auburn, the five seed from the West.

First and second round games will be televised on the SEC Network. Saturday's semifinals and the championship game at 1 p.m. EST Sunday will be televised by ABC.

Alabama defeated Auburn twice during regular season play and defeated Georgia in the only meeting of the two on Saturday. Bama also defeated Kentucky, the presumed third round opponent, in regular season play in Tuscaloosa.

Kentucky will play on Friday at 3:30 p.m. EST against the winner of the game pitting Ole Miss (West third seed) against South Carolina (East sixth), who meet at 3:30 EST Thursday.

Other Thursday games have Arkansas (West four) against Tennessee (East five) at 7:30 EST and LSU (West six) against Vanderbilt (West three) at 10 EST. On Friday, Florida will play the Arkansas-Tennessee winner and Mississippi State, the second seed from the West, will play the Vanderbilt-LSU winner.

There has been some discussion of eliminating the divisions in basketball. Had that been done this year, the final standings would have been:

1. Florida 13-3

2. Alabama 12-4

3. Kentucky 10-6

4 (tie). Vanderbilt 9-7

4 (tie). Georgia 9-7

4 (tie). Mississippi State 9-7

7. Tennessee 8-8

8 (tie). Ole Miss 7-9

8 (tie). Arkansas 7-9

10. South Carolina 5-11

11. Auburn 4-12

12. LSU 3-13

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