FanPost

SECT Preview: SO YOU'RE TELLING ME THERE'S A CHANCE?

ARRRGGHGHHG - Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

Log5, courtesy of kenpom.com:

               Rd1   Qtrs  Semis  Final  Champ
 1 Florida      100    100   88.1   61.9   49.2
 4 Tennessee    100    100   75.9   30.0   20.3
 2 Kentucky     100    100   71.3   51.8   18.3
 3 Georgia      100    100   59.6   21.5    4.3
 5 Arkansas     100   71.7   20.3    4.5    2.1
 7 LSU          100   57.2   17.9    9.8    2.0
 6 Mississippi  100   59.3   25.4    7.6    1.2
 8 Missouri     100   66.5    9.3    2.8    1.1
10 Alabama      100   42.8   10.9    5.2    0.9
11 Vanderbilt  77.8   36.3   14.3    3.9    0.6
 9 Texas A&M    100   33.5    2.5    0.5    0.1
12 Auburn      53.3   15.7    2.2    0.3    0.07
13 S. Carolina 46.7   12.6    1.6    0.2    0.04
14 Miss. St.   22.2    4.4    0.7    0.07   0.003


That's right, we have a 0.6 percent chance of winning the SEC Tournament and claiming an automatic bid! Unfortunately, that may actually be overstating things a bit. I don't think Pomeroy's log5 accounts for the grind of playing five games in five days... much less doing that with seven scholarship players. But we do have a better chance of winning the SECT than Texas A&M, which I guess counts for something.


On the other hand, our odds of getting to the semifinals are actually somewhat decent, largely because the trifecta of Mississippi State, Ole Miss, and Georgia isn't all that imposing.


As for the rest of the SEC, who actually wins the tournament is somewhat less interesting than the bubble action. Tennessee and Arkansas enter the SECT on the right side of the bubble; Missouri enters squarely on the wrong side. While some sportswriters will probably present the (likely) quarterfinal matchup between Tennessee and Arkansas as a bubble game, I don't think it's quite that simple. Certainly, the winner can feel fairly safe (and should get a free shot at Florida on Saturday; nobody is going to hold a loss to the Gators against you, and a win will mean zero sweating on Selection Sunday regardless of what happens in the final.) The loser is probably not out, unless it's a blowout, but runs the danger of being passed by other bubble teams or some bid thievery in other conferences. (Now, if Arkansas loses to Auburn or South Carolina on Thursday, all bets are off.)


For Missouri, most bracketologists have them out right now, and a win over Texas A&M on Thursday won't move the needle either way -- basically, beat Florida on Friday and we can talk. A run to the finals (beating Florida and fellow bubbler Arkansas or Tennessee)? Okay, that might be good enough. Of course, if you're Frank Haith, your best bet is probably just to win the damn thing and leave no doubt.


And everyone else, other than Florida and Kentucky (who are safe regardless), needs to win the thing. Georgia -- which is playing in their home state and only needs to win three games -- is the best bet to steal a bid, not that the Bulldogs' chances are all that great. But stranger things have happened. Like that time Georgia won the SECT in 2008. The bad news for the SEC, though, is that they probably are maxed out at four bids regardless. Tennessee and Arkansas can't both win in the quarters, and both are close enough to the cut line that if there IS a surprise winner, the SEC is probably just going to cannibalize itself. On the other hand, any less than three bids is somewhat unlikely as well -- aside from the possibility of a bid thief, the winner of the Tennessee-Arkansas game probably gets in.


As for the possibility of bid thievery coming from other conferences? Well, now that Wichita State has finished off its ransackery of the MVC by claiming the auto bid, there's actually very little opportunity. A non-Gonzaga, non-BYU WCC tournament winner might make things interesting, but both Gonzaga and BYU are rather iffy at-large teams. The MWC tournament -- where San Diego State and New Mexico are solidly in, everybody else is solidly out, and UNLV is playing on their home floor -- is worth a look. Other than that, it would have to be a true surprise winner in one of the major conferences, but pay close attention to the Big East and its bubble action, with four teams squarely on the bubble going into championship week.

FanPosts are most often submitted by users. The views and opinions expressed in FanPosts do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions held by the editorial staff of The Anchor of Gold or SB Nation. Unless they are awesome.

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