Hello everyone and welcome to what will probably be the last Krystal Ball for the season. Please try to control your emotions LOL.
With 14 teams the tourney now stretches over five days. As we have heard the endless talk there are 3-4 SEC squads on the old NCAA Bubble. Who will win, let's take a look.
#13 Mississippi State vs. #12 South Carolina- (7:30 SEC Network)- I bet when Frank Martin took the USC job he didn't think he would be playing the first game of the SEC Tourney. The winner of this one plays Tennessee and I will pick the Gamecocks.
Krystal Ball Says- South Carolina 68-61
#14 Auburn vs. #11 Texas A&M- (10:00 SEC Network)- The Tigers lost their last 9 SEC games to finish the season and there is talk this may be it for Tony Barbee. However the Aggies may be without Elston Turner for this one and if he doesn't play I am going with the upset.
Krystal Ball Says- Auburn 70-65
#9 Georgia vs. #8 LSU- (1:00 SEC Network)- The Bulldogs have newly minted SEC MVP Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and there are some rumblings that Mark Fox could be in some trouble down in Athens. The Tigers look pretty safe for an NIT bid and I am going to go with them in this one.
Krystal Ball Says- LSU 72-66
#12 South Carolina vs. #5 Tennessee- (3:30 SEC Network)- For the first time it is the dreaded 5/12 game in the SEC Tourney. In all seriousness the Vols are the hottest team in the SEC and I think they win easily here.
Krystal Ball Says- Tennessee 74-61
#10 Vanderbilt vs. #7 Arkansas- (7:30 SEC Network)- As we all know Kentucky plays the winner of this one. If this tourney were in Arkansas then the Razorbacks would be the favorite.
However Mike Anderson's club went 1-11 away from Fayetteville this year. As much as I would like to see Kentucky get a little revenge, I don't think it is going to happen.
Krystal Ball Says- Vanderbilt 73-68
#14 Auburn vs. #6 Missouri- (10:00 SEC Network)- It is hard to believe that Missouri slipped this far in the SEC in their first year. It is also hard for me to figure how UK is a bubble team and the Tigers are safely in.
Anyway I think in this battle of the Tigers, Mizzou wins and maybe Frank Haith will even smile.
Krystal Ball Says- Missouri 79-66
Onto the quarterfinals
#9 LSU vs. #1 Florida- (1:00 ESPNU)- In a bit of a change this year the Friday afternoon games on going to be on ESPNU. The Gators come into the tourney as the favorite and I think they win here.
Krystal Ball Says- Florida 80-68
#5 Tennessee vs. #4 Alabama- (3:30 ESPNU)- The Tide are still hoping for an NCAA bid while the Vols at this point might have one locked up with a win. I think Rocky Top wins in this one.
Krystal Ball Says- Tennessee 74-69
#10 Vanderbilt vs. #2 Kentucky- (7:30 SEC Network)- The Cats and Dores played two similiar games with Kentucky getting out to a big lead then holding on for a win. If they can build on the Florida win then UK should win easily but who knows what team will show up.
Krystal Ball Says- Kentucky 71-64
#6 Missouri vs. #3 Ole Miss- (10:00 SEC Network)- The Rebels are trying to make the Big Dance while the Tigers will have already played one game. The last time these two teams met there were lots of fireworks and this should be a great game.
Krystal Ball Says- Missouri 80-75
Now onto the Semi-Finals
#5 Tennessee vs. #1 Florida- (1:00 ABC)- For whatever reason Tennessee seems to have Billy Donovan's number. They did it when Bruce Pearl was there and it has continued with Cuonzo Martin.
I really want to pick UT to win this one but this would be their 3rd game in 3 days and I think Florida's pressure will be too much.
Krystal Ball Says- Florida 70-66
#6 Missouri vs. #2 Kentucky- (3:30 ABC)- The first meeting between these two was one of the best SEC games of the year. The question will be can Kentucky beat the Tigers on a neutral floor, ok it won't really be that neutral in Nashville will it.
Krystal Ball Says- Kentucky 75-72
Now the finals.
#2 Kentucky vs. #1 Florida- (1:00 ABC)- If my bracket holds true then this would be the 5th time these two teams would have met in the Finals. Kentucky won in 1994 2004 and 2011 while Florida won in 2005.
If the Cats make it to the finals then there should be no question about making the NCAA. However I just can't see this team winning 3 games in 3 days and beating Florida.
Krystal Ball Says- Florida 73-66
So there you have it, I am picking Florida to win, which means that someone else will probably win it. What do you think, I would love to hear from you. Thanks for reading.