The 2018 SEC Tournament has been a fun one thus far, and that will hopefully continue in Friday’s quarterfinal action.
This is the day when we’ll see the top four seeds in action following their double byes. While Thursday’s action featured highlight finishes and a buzzer beater, the real story was the return of star Missouri freshman Michael Porter Jr.
A top-two high school recruit in nearly every recruiting service, Porter hadn’t appeared in a game since the beginning of the regular season due to a back injury, but he returned Thursday in Missouri’s 62-60 loss to Georgia.
As you can imagine, Porter looked rusty in his first game back, finishing with 12 points on 5-of-17 shooting. He did hit a late three that nearly helped the Tigers rally for the win while chipping in eight boards, but it was Georgia and AP SEC Player of the Year Yante Maten that advanced.
The biggest highlight of the day came when Collin Sexton hit a shot as time expired to give Alabama a 71-70 win over Texas A&M. That win has vaulted the Tide into the final 4-8 teams in of most bracketologies, but a win over Auburn in Friday’s action would lock up a spot.
Speaking of teams needing a deep SEC run, Georgia has already won two games just to get to Friday’s action. The Bulldogs were pretty far off the bubble entering the tournament, so they need to at least get to Sunday to have any hope of scoring an at-large bid, and they probably need to win the whole thing.
Kentucky will look to prevent that while boosting their seed line with a deep run in St. Louis. They narrowly beat Georgia in Rupp Arena earlier this season, and Friday figures to be another hard-fought game, especially with Jarred Vanderbilt likely out.
Of all the teams in action Friday, Georgia and Mississippi State are the only teams projected to miss the NCAA Tournament. That speaks to just how good this league with six of eight teams in action likely to make the Big Dance, and Mississippi State could also make it with 1-2 more wins.
Bracket & Schedule Update
You can keep track of all the action using WatchESPN and the WatchESPN app. You can also listen to the game via the SEC Radio Network.
Wednesday, March 7
Game 1: Georgia Bulldogs 78, Vanderbilt Commodores 62
Game 2: South Carolina Gamecocks 85, Ole Miss Rebels 84
Thursday, March 8
Game 3: Alabama Crimson Tide 71, Texas A&M Aggies 70 |
Game 4: Georgia Bulldogs 62, Missouri Tigers 60
Game 5: Mississippi State Bulldogs 80, LSU Tigers 77
Game 6: Arkansas Razorbacks 69, South Carolina Gamecocks 64
Friday, March 9
Game 7: Auburn Tigers vs Alabama Crimson Tide | 1 PM ET | ESPN
Game 8: Kentucky Wildcats vs Georgia Bulldogs | 25 minutes after previous game | ESPN
Game 9: Tennessee Volunteers vs Mississippi State Bulldogs | 7 PM ET | SEC Network
Game 10: Florida Gators vs Arkansas Razorbacks | 25 minutes after previous game | SEC Network
Saturday, March 10
Game 11: Winner of Game 7 vs Winner of Game 8 | 1 PM ET | ESPN
Game 12: Winner of Game 9 vs Winner of Game 10 | 25 minutes after previous game | ESPN
Sunday, March 11
Game 13: Winner of Game 11 vs Winner of Game 12 | 1 PM ET | ESPN
Here are the most recent odds to win the tournament via TeamRankings: