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Roundtable: Predictions for Kentucky in SEC Tournament

How will Kentucky do in the SEC Tourney, and will it help their seed in the Big Dance?

NCAA Basketball: Vanderbilt at Kentucky Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

Gameday is here for the Cats, and for our latest roundtable, we gathered our staff to get their prediction on how Kentucky will do in the SEC Tournament.

Glenn Logan

The odds are good that UK will win, probably about 55/45 in favor. I think the loss of John Egbunu makes Florida very vulnerable to offensive rebounding, and if Kentucky is doing one thing pretty consistently well right now, it is rebounding.

Vanderbilt, should it be them we face rather than Florida in the final, would be a different sort of challenge. I’d worry about being able to complete the hat trick against the ‘Dores after facing them twice, as well as they are playing. Historically, though, Vandy has struggled to get to the final, and I would be very surprised if they could whip Florida in back-to-back games.

If an upset from the early games comes through, most likely Arkansas, I like our chances. Arkansas doesn’t match up well with Kentucky and has been extremely stout defensively in conference play, ranking 11th in defensive efficiency. They are unfamiliar with the grind-it-out pace that gives UK problems, so I regard them as a very favorable finals opponent.

Jonathon Leverenz

I'm confident they get to the championship game - no one in their side of the bracket is really a threat beyond the standard "any given day" nature of sports. If they play Florida it's a tossup, if they play not-Florida it's another SEC Title.

James Streble

I think Kentucky will win going away in the first two games of the tournament and then they will have to pull out a close one against Florida for the title. In all honesty, I won't mind it if they lose in the title game.

At that point, they will have a 2 seed in the tournament locked up. It's always nice to win the SEC tournament, but as we have seen in the past, they can still do some major damage in the NCAA tournament regardless of the outcome.

Patrick Daniels

I am predicting Kentucky to win its 31st SEC Tournament Championship on March 12th against the Florida Gators. However, my ideal outcome would be for Kentucky to lose in the championship game, as the last Kentucky team to win the SEC Tournament Championship and the National Championship occurred almost two decades ago in 1998.

Perhaps it's an illogical superstition, but if you look at the Cal Era, disregarding the NIT team, Kentucky has performed better in the NCAA Tournament when it does not win the SEC Tournament Championship.

Chris McKee

This won't be a cakewalk by any means. The Wildcats will be challenged by Florida and even a team like Tennessee who they lost to just a few weeks back. However, talent wise and the ability to play up to the moment will push them to the title.

BTW. I have my credentials for Round 1 & 2 in Buffalo.....I’m praying and hoping UK gets sent there and if so I'll be able to provide some coverage for the site.

Jamie Boggs

I think the Wildcats roll through the quarter- and semi-final rounds with little to no opposition. Despite how well each team played Kentucky in the regular season, Georgia is weak right now (although the return of Yante Maten makes things interesting). Kentucky should still win by double digits.

South Carolina has dropped 5 of their last 8, and Kentucky has very favorable match-ups across the board against them (Sindarius Thornwell aside). I think the Gamecocks make it to the semis, but get blown out by Kentucky and find themselves on the bubble.

The finals may be another story. Likely facing the winner of Florida vs. Vanderbilt, the Wildcats have had to make huge comebacks in the second half to defeat each team in recent weeks. I do think the Wildcats win the SEC tournament championship, but I look for the championship game to come down to the wire.

Hopefully, the environment at the tournament gives the Wildcats the sense of urgency necessary to get closer to the dominant team we saw in December (maybe even playing better defense).

Regardless, it will be a good test to see if they are able to play for desperation for 40 minutes in a win-or-go-home game, which is what Coach Cal has been preaching for weeks.

Bryan Kennedy

Cal has gone on record as saying he doesn't care about conference tournaments, BUT usually when he says that his team has peaked and is playing well. As Cal was quoted as saying, the good as bad news is this team hasn't peaked. I'd love to see how this team plays with their backs against the wall in a tournament atmosphere.

The SEC tournament isn't the Big Dance, but it does simulate the win-or-go-home mentality of the NCAA tournament. When the Cats took home the title in 2012, they lost to Vandy in the championship. They're 2-4 since, winning the last two. I think the Cats will take home their third title in the last three years.

IF, however, they dig themselves into a hole against a UGA team fighting for a NCAA Tournament bid, then Cats fans will be throwing their SEC tourney books on the ground again like they did several years ago.

Keith Garrett

I think the 'Cats run to a title in Nashville behind the Big Blue Nation. There is one caveat, however, it is very possible that UK's toughest game is on Friday and they could lose and be one and done.

Zac Oakes

I think the Wildcats continue to pick up wins and come away with the SEC Tournament championship, though their road to get there will not be an easy one. Kentucky gets a third matchup with the Georgia Bulldogs, who gave Kentucky a fight both times, and UK’s guards struggle to contain J.J. Frazier. Ultimately, Kentucky comes away with the win, but it will likely come down to the final minutes again.

From there, I think South Carolina gets revenge on Alabama and gets a rematch with Kentucky. South Carolina is tough defensively, but I think the Wildcats match up fairly well and come away with another close victory.

Then the rubber match with Florida. I have a feeling this will be one of those classic SEC Championship games, but I think Kentucky comes away with the victory in Nashville and puts themselves securely on the 2-seed line while being in the conversation for a 1-seed depending on other tournaments.