Stuart McNair

Alabama, 10th seed, would play Kentucky with win over Ole Miss

The 13-team Southeastern Conference men’s basketball tournament begins Wednesday

Alabama opened the Southeastern Conference schedule in Coach Avery Johnson’s first year with the Crimson Tide by opening up the new arena at Ole Miss. It was not a good start as Bama fell to the Rebels, 74-66.

Although Alabama has had a far better season than anyone expected, the Crimson Tide has been on a slide. Bama was picked to finish 13th in the 14-team SEC and finished with an 8-10 record, good enough for a 10 seed. That puts Alabama in the fourth game of the tournament against No. 7 seed Ole Miss. Tipoff will be at 6 p.m. CST Thursday in Bridgestone Arena in Nashville.

The winner of Alabama-Ole Miss will meet Kentucky on Friday. The Wildcats had two easy wins over the Tide in regular season play.

Because Missouri is not eligible for post-season play, the tournament has only 13 teams, starting Wednesday with No. 13 Auburn meeting No. 12 Tennessee.

Here is the tournament bracket:

FIRST ROUND - March 9 (Wednesday)

Game 1       #12 Tennessee vs. #13 Auburn [SEC Network]                  7:00 p.m. CT


SECOND ROUND - March 10 (Thursday)

Game 2       #8 Florida vs. #9 Arkansas [SEC Network]                        Noon CT

Game 3       Game 1 Winner vs. #5 Vanderbilt [SEC Network]               25 min after G2

Game 4       #7Ole Miss vs. #10 Alabama [SEC Network]                    6:00 p.m. CT

Game 5       #6 Georgia vs. #11 Mississippi State [SEC Network]         25 min after G4


QUARTERFINALS - March 11 (Friday)

Game 6       Game 2 Winner vs. #1 Texas A&M [SEC Network]             Noon CT

Game 7       Game 3 Winner vs. #4 LSU [SEC Network]                        25 min after G6

Game 8       Game 4 Winner vs. #2 Kentucky [SEC Network]                6:00 p.m. CT

Game 9       Game 5 Winner vs. #3 South Carolina [SEC Network]       25 min after G8


SEMIFINALS - March 12 (Saturday)

Game 10    Game 6 Winner vs. Game 7 Winner [ESPN]                       Noon CT

Game 11    Game 8 Winner vs. Game 9 Winner [ESPN]                       25 min after G10


FINALS - March 13 (Sunday)

Game 12    Game 10 Winner vs. Game 11 Winner [ESPN]                   Noon CT

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