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NCAA Basketball March MadnessSEC Basketball

The Non-Basketball Fan’s Guide to the SEC Tournament

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SEC Tourney for the Non-Basketball Fan

SEC
Don McPeak - USA Today Sports

OK now SEC Fans...are you sitting down? I don't want any of you getting hurt here, but...

The SEC does participate in another sport that doesn't involve an oblong pigskin, three straight days of tailgating, or a crystal football trophy.

Now take a deep breath...

In many SEC arenas for these games, there are empty seats--even hundreds of them--and nobody gets bent out of shape about it.

Ready for the kicker?...

Kentucky is good at this game. It's called, basketball.

Now as I'm sure a lot of this information comes as a complete surprise to many of you, I wanted to help those of you who do love the SEC (like me), but know next to nothing about this thing called "college basketball" (like me), especially now that the regular season has ended in this oddball sport.

See, here's where things get really weird. They have this thing called a tournament, where every team in the conference gets to play in a single elimination bracket, and the teams that win (or sometimes just do really well) in this tournament get to go on to an even BIGGER tournament that determines the National Champion.

I know. Mind...blown. Right?

Now hold on tight to your Jack & Coke...

Even if you don't win a single game during the regular season, if you win this conference tournament you get to go on to the big tournament with a chance to win it all.

That rumble you just felt was Bear Bryant turning over in his grave.

Now this tournament officially started tonight, but if you missed the first two games, don't worry...it's like Pro Wrestling...it's easy to catch up if you miss a few episodes.

So here is a guide to this year's SEC Basketball Tournament, from a non-fan's perspective for non-fans to read.

Oh by the way...there are women's teams in this game too...(oh dear, there went the hunting knife through the TV.)

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#14 Seed: Auburn

auburn
Kelly Lambert - USA Today Sports

Hahahahahahahah!! Yeah, Auburn. Not even Cam Newton could save these guys. They are allowed in because Alabama had to have someone to hate.

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#13 Seed: Mississippi State

MissSt
Dale Zanine - USA Today Sports

The Mississippi State basketball team still only really plays to brag on who is the best team in Mississippi. But on the upside, at least they didn't fire Sylvester Croom.

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#12 Seed: South Carolina

carolina
Jeff Blake - USA Today Sports

South Carolina basketball will never really be good because the won't allow Steve Spurrier to coach both football and basketball. On the other hand...well, there is no other hand. They still have that stupid Gamecock mascot too.

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#11 Seed: Texas A&M

aggies
Dennis Wierzbicki - USA Today Sports

Texas A&M feels right at home being in the bottom tier of the basketball standings and having no shot at at national championship. After all, they did come from the Big 12. This is one situation where the Texas Longhorns don't really care that the Aggies are gone.

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#10 Seed: Vanderbilt

vandy
Rob Foldy - USA Today Sports

Ok, so we've found two sports that nerds can stink at. But really no...Vanderbilt is bad, but not quite bad enough to embarrass the football team. Actually I think there are a lot of players that cross over.

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#9 Seed: LSU

LSU
Crystal LoGiudice - USA Today Sports

Now here's where we start getting into some of the SEC teams that kind of take this whole basketball thing seriously. Ever heard of that Shaquille O'Neal guy? Yeah, he played for LSU. So...there's that.

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#8 Seed: Georgia

georgia
Dale Zanine - USA Today Sports

Yep, just like in football, Georgia recruits some really good players and has a coach with a reputation as a really good guy, but rarely has real success. Outside of another freak of nature weather disturbance carrying them to an unlikely winning run, the Bulldogs won't be advancing far in this year's tourney.

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#7 Seed: Arkansas

ark
Dak Dillon - USA Today Sports

From what I've been able to gather, Arkansas used to have a really good team at some point in history, so they already have a couple of legs up on the football team. And, Bobby Petrino hasn't cursed the Razorback hoopsters yet. I'd give them a 50/50 chance of winning the tourney just because John L. Smith has been reportedly banned from the games (yes, that was a joke).

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#6 Seed: Missouri

mizzou
Mark D. Smith - USA Today Sports

So yeah, Missouri comes from that wacked-out midwestern part of the country where they take this whole basketball thing really seriously (see: "Hoosiers", "Larry Bird"), so they kind of have an advantage on most of the SEC teams in that they have an actual understanding of the game and it's concept.

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#5 Seed: Tennessee

Tenn
Scott Rovak - USA Today Sports

This one has me scratching my head. Tennessee apparently had some coach that was recruiting players illegally or something like that. Whatever it was, I thought it was part of the SEC exemptions, so I'm not sure why they got rid of the guy. In any case, they still manage to field a better than average basketball team. Derek Dooley-proof, I hear as well.

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#4 Seed: Alabama

bama
Dale Zanine - USA Today Sports

Alabama fans may want to look away from this slide, or they may turn to stone. But the Crimson Tide is NOT the best team in the SEC...in basketball anyway. But even with that, they are still good. Must be all the Nick Saban over-commits just killing some time until they can go play football.

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#3 Seed: Ole Miss

miss
Tony Tribble - USA Today Sports

This should give you an indication of how topsy-turvy this whole college hoops thing is. Ole Miss is actually GOOD. I know, I know...my fingers could barely type the words without locking into a carpal tunnel cramp. But the Rebels actually have (from what I've heard) an outside shot at winning the NCAA Tournament.

Please, stop laughing and just go to the next slide. Haters.

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#2 Seed: Kentucky

kentucky
Paul Abell - USA Today Sports

Remember what I said in my opening, about Kentucky being good at this sport? Yeah, it's apparently true. The Wildcats are, and have been, one of the best basketball teams in the country for years apparently. They've even won multiple national championships, including one when they were coached by a former UGA head coach. No...not Vince Dooley. Some guy named "Tubby" or something.

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#1 Seed: Florida

gators
Christopher Hanewinckel - USA Today Sports

I guess you could say all is right with the world as long as Florida is sitting on top of the standings in the SEC. Again, kind of an SEC-nigma, the Gators have won multiple national championships in basketball, and seem to take the whole bouncing the ball in your skivvies thing pretty seriously. Leave it to the Gators to overachieve.