The 2016 SEC Tournament began on Wednesday, with Tennessee trouncing Auburn in a game better forgotten than discussed. But it begins on Thursday with second-round matchups featuring one team clinging to slim NCAA Tournament hopes and another that wants to stay on the right side of the bubble.
Perhaps the only SEC school that could get into the NCAA Tournament with a deep run and not a tournament title in Nashville is No. 8 seed Florida, which appeared as one of SB Nation bracketologist Chris Dobbertean's next four out on Wednesday. The Gators boast a strong non-conference strength of schedule, but have limped mightily down the stretch, and won't have center John Egbunu at full strength after he suffered a torn ligament in his thumb in practice this week. They'll meet No. 9 seed Arkansas at 1 p.m. ET.
No. 5 seed Vanderbilt, which likely played itself into the field with a few strong weeks of recent play, could undo a fair bit of the good it's done of late in the day's second game against Tennessee. The Volunteers improved to 14-18 on the year with their evisceration of Auburn, and stand as the worst loss still available to any team in the SEC Tournament. While losing to their in-state rivals wouldn't drop the Commodores out of the NCAA Tournament field altogether, a defeat might cost a seed line or two.
The evening's games between No. 7 Ole Miss — which has the firepower to take down nearly any team in the field if diminutive Stefan Moody runs hot — and No. 10 Alabama, as well as No. 6 Georgia vs. No. 11 Mississippi State, are unlikely to feature an NCAA Tournament participant, thanks to all of those teams' uneven runs through SEC play.
You can keep up with the SEC Tournament bracket, schedule and scores here.
Schedule (all times Eastern)
Thursday, March 10 (Second Round)
Game 2: No. 8 Florida 68, No. 9 Arkansas 61
Game 3: No. 12 Tennessee 67, No. 5 Vanderbilt 65
Game 4: No. 10 Alabama 81, No. 7 Ole Miss 73
Game 5: No. 6 Georgia 79, No. 11 Mississippi State 69
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Best Tournament Player: Was it Carmelo Anthony or Christian Laettner?
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