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How the Experts Are Picking the SEC Tournament

SEC Basketball Tournament
SEC Basketball tournament. Photo via @SoutheasternConference on Twitter.

The 2023 SEC men’s basketball tournament has officially begun in Nashville.

The tournament kicked off the festivities with two down-to-the-wire games on Wednesday night with No. 13 Ole MIss edging out No. 12 South Carolina and No. 14 LSU holding down No. 11 Georgia to advance to the second round.

We now turn to a full four-game slate for both Thursday and Friday in Bridgestone Arena.

While looking at the odds, Tennessee has been given the second-highest chance to win the tournament according to DraftKings, Caesars, and BetMGM. That’s also despite losing All-SEC Second Team point guard Zakai Zeigler last week due to an ACL injury.

The picks from the experts, though, are a little more spread out. When looking at the publications listed below, there is a decently wide range of teams projected to win the tournament. Alabama, obviously, is the No. 1 overall seed in the tournament. Texas A&M and Kentucky, two of the hotter teams in the country, are also favorable picks for the tournament coming up. Missouri, the four seed, hasn’t gotten too much love but isn’t forgotten about either.

And, yes, five-seed Tennessee has received picks to win their second consecutive SEC Tournament title under head coach Rick Barnes. While it will be an uphill battle considering the evenly-matched talent across the league, Tennessee will look to begin that journey on Thursday afternoon with a second-round matchup against No. 13 Ole Miss.

And, of the 20 picks listed, the Arkansas Razorbacks took one vote as well.

SEC Tournament Bracket
The 2023 SEC Tournament bracket. Photo via
More from RTI: No. 17 Tennessee vs. Ole Miss: How To Watch, Key Stats, Betting Odds, Prediction

Here’s a look at our SEC Tournament projections round-up:

The Athletic

  • John Hollinger: Tennessee
  • Eamonn Brennan: Tennessee
  • Four votes for Alabama
  • Three votes for Texas A&M
  • Two votes for Kentucky
  • One vote for Arkansas

The Inquirer (Action Network)

  • Matt Jacob: Texas A&M

SB Nation

  • JP Acosta: Tennessee
    • “The smart thing might be to pick Alabama, due to their consistency and ability to take over games on both sides of the ball. However, Tennessee’s defense is number one in the country according to KenPom, and they’ve beaten Alabama recently, holding them 30 points under their scoring average.”

VISN Sports Betting Network

  • Zachary Cohen: Kentucky

Bleacher Report

  • Jake Rill: Alabama over Kentucky

247 Sports

  • Robbie Weinstein: Tennessee defeats Ole Miss, loses to Missouri in the quarterfinals on Friday
    • “The Vols also already had some issues on offense, and they have been banged up late in the season. Advanced metric like KenPom don’t like Mizzou, but the Tigers have played well on the road and force lots of turnovers. That could be an issue for a ball-handling-starved Tennessee team.”
  • Weinstein: Kentucky over Missouri

Yahoo Sports

  • Jason Owens: Alabama

Vegas Insider

  • VI Staff: Texas A&M
    • “The Aggies made a run to the final of this event a season ago and could go one better this time as they enter Nashville as the hottest team in the league and having just dumped regular season champ Alabama last weekend. Head coach Buzz Williams is also pleased that junior guard Wade Taylor IV (16.3 PPG) has emerged as the go-to-scorer to replace Quenton Jackson (NBA – Wizards).”

Rocky Top Insider:

  • Ric Butler: Texas A&M
  • Ryan Schumpert: Alabama
  • Jack Foster: Texas A&M

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