2015 SEC Tournament for March 14: Who, What, Where and When

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Mandatory Credit: Don McPeak-USA TODAY Sports

1:00 PM EST
#1 KENTUCKY WILDCATS 32-0 (16-0)
#13 AUBURN TIGERS 15-19 (4-14)

As proven this year, Kentucky does not have to play a perfect game to beat you.  This team has overcome poor shooting games to win in part to their will to win and a defense that locks down and causes opponents to score around 53 points a game.  Kentucky has the best front court in the nation with future NBA top 10 picks Karl-Anthony Towns and Willie Cauley-Stein.  Their interior defense is brutal and they contest virtually every shot.  The Wildcats have one of the best sharpshooters in college in Devin Booker and the best clutch shooter in Aaron Harrison.  That is just four players but Kentucky has nine that can beat you.  This team smells a perfect season and it is going to be hard to knock them off their scent.  With a win today, Kentucky will have the longest winning streak in SEC history with 33 games.

It’s been a great run for Auburn and they play with heart and hustle, but they are running into a buzzsaw this afternoon.  KT Harrell, Antoine Mason, Cinmeon Bowers are a nice tri0, but in the end, Kentucky has too much talent.  Harrell is playing like a man on fire, averaging 24.0 a game over his last five and he will leave his heart on the floor.  In the end, this is not a very good defensive team and you have to be able to play defense to beat Kentucky.  The Tigers could also be without Jordan Granger, pending a ruling by the SEC League Office.  Granger was ejected out of last night’s game for throwing a punch and the Tigers really need his size.

Kentucky and Auburn met once this year, and the Tigers were routed 110-75.  Don’t underestimate the fatigue factor in this game as well as Auburn will be playing their fourth game in four days and the Wildcats have relatively fresh legs.

#2 ARKANSAS RAZORBACKS  25-7  (13-5)
#3 GEORGIA BULLDOGS  21-10 (11-7)

It’s hard to believe, but yesterday’s win by the Razorbacks was their first SEC Tournament win since 2008.  The Razorbacks are led by the SEC’s highest scoring duo of Bobby Portis and Michael Qualls, who average a combined 33.1 points.  Portis, the SEC Player of the Year, get sit done on the inside, averaging 17.8 points and 8.7 rebounds.  Qualls, a 6’6 guard, can score from all over the court and averages 15.3 points and 5.5 boards a game.  Rashad Madden does a great job of guiding this team as he has an A/TO ratio of over 2.0.  Madden can shoot also, and hits 39.1% of his 3-pointers and averages 10 points and 3.6 rebounds. Aside from Kentucky, the Razorbacks have the most depth in the conference as ten players average 10:00 minutes a game.  And this game can score.  The Razorbacks average a league best 79.0 points a game, which is 11th in the country.

The Bulldogs have been solid, but unspectacular, all season long and should have clinched their NCAA bid yesterday.  When healthy, the Bulldogs have a starting five that all averages in double figures.  Marcus Thornton, with 12.3 points and 7.0 rebounds is solid in the paint,  JJ Frazier averages 10 a game and hits 40.8% on his 3-pointers.  This is a very experienced team as they have been playing together for the past two to three years.  Frazier is just a sophomore, but the rest are upperclassmen.  This team loves to battle and are the 26th best rebounding team in the nations, which is kind of a surprise.  Charles Mann and Nemanja Djurisic both average 5.1 boards a game.  This team hits 34.2 from long-range, but can get hot in a hurry.  Mark Fox has his Bulldogs playing as a team but they may be missing a key part today.  Kenny Gaines, who has been working through an injury had his foot stepped on last night.  He did play 27 minutes but the Bulldogs are on a short turnaround today.

Georgia and Arkansas played just once this season and the Razorbacks won at Athens 79-75.  This should be another good game as each team trys to solidify their seeding.

Next: Know Your Enemy: Auburn Tigers

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