Scottie Bordelon is a reporter for WholeHogSports.com. A graduate of the University of Arkansas, Bordelon previously covered high school sports for the Times Record in Fort Smith and the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette in Springdale. He is a member of the U.S. Basketball Writers Association and Football Writers Association of America and voter for the Biletnikoff Award.
Seedings, matchups set for SEC Tournament
The SEC logo is shown on March 14, 2019, during the second round game in the SEC Tournament at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville.
FAYETTEVILLE — Seedings and matchups are set for this week’s SEC Tournament at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tenn.
Arkansas, which finished the conference schedule winners of its last 11 league games, is the No. 2 seed and will face the winner of Thursday’s game between 7-seed Missouri and 10-seed Georgia on Friday at 6 p.m. on SEC Network.
The Razorbacks split the season series with Missouri, losing 81-68 in Bud Walton Arena on Jan. 2 and winning in Columbia, Mo., 86-81 in overtime on Feb. 13.
Arkansas won its only game against Georgia, routing the Bulldogs 99-69 on Jan. 9 in Fayetteville.
Should Arkansas defeat Georgia or Missouri in its first game, it would move on to play the South Carolina, Ole Miss or LSU in the semifinals Saturday.
The Razorbacks have won the SEC Tournament title once, in 2000. Arkansas has lost in the championship game six times, most recently in 2017.
“I think we’re in a good spot,” graduate-transfer guard Jalen Tate said Saturday. “We know we’re trending in the right direction. You want to be playing your best basketball around this time of the year. You just definitely want to keep this momentum going.
The Razorbacks were projected to finish sixth in the SEC under second-year coach Eric Musselman but outperformed expectations and closed the regular season 21-5 overall and 13-4 in conference play.
“We want to play for championships,” Tate said. “I know everybody that’s on our team that steps out there on that court wants to play for a championship. Now we have to go out here and do it in these next couple of tournaments, starting with this week.”
Like Arkansas, top-seeded Alabama finished four spots better than projected and awaits the winner of Thursday’s matchup between 9-seed Mississippi State and 8-seed Kentucky on Friday at 11 a.m. The Crimson Tide won their first SEC regular-season title sine 2002.
LSU finished the regular season 16-8 overall and 11-6 in conference play. The Tigers are the No. 3 seed in the SEC Tournament, and Tennessee is No. 4 following a 65-54 home win over Florida on Sunday.
The Gators are the No. 5 seed and will play the Vanderbilt-Texas A&M winner on Thursday.
2021 SEC Men's Basketball Tournament schedule
Game 1: 12 Vanderbilt vs. 13 Texas A&M, 6 p.m., SEC Network
Game 2: 8 Kentucky vs. 9 Mississippi State, 11 a.m, SEC Network
Game 3: 5 Florida vs. Game 1 winner, 1 p.m., SEC Network
Game 4: 10 Georgia vs. 7 Missouri, 6 p.m., SEC Network
Game 5: 11 South Carolina vs. 6 Ole Miss, 8 p.m., SEC Network
Game 6: 1 Alabama vs. Game 2 winner, 11 a.m., ESPN
Game 7: 4 Tennessee vs. Game 3 winner, 1 p.m., ESPN
Game 8: 2 Arkansas vs. Game 4 winner, 6 p.m., SEC Network
Game 9: 3 LSU vs. Game 5 winner, 8 p.m., SEC Network
Game 10: Game 6 winner vs. Game 7 winner, 12 p.m., ESPN
Game 11: Game 8 winner vs. Game 9 winner, 2 p.m., ESPN
Game 12: Game 10 winner vs. Game 11 winner, 12 p.m., ESPN
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