If ever there were a conference tournament that was wide open, it would be this year’s SEC tournament where virtually anyone could walk away with the NCAA tournament automatic bid. Aside from the Florida Gators, no team in the conference has been overly impressive to this point in the season, leaving the conference championship open for the taking. As Selection Sunday draws closer by the minute, who will ascend to the top of the muddled race in the SEC, if anyone?
The South Carolina Gamecocks still have hope of earning an NCAA tournament bid, as the team defeated the Auburn Tigers 74-56 in the SEC tournament opener. Duane Notice put the rest of the conference on notice, as the guard had a breakout performance in the game scoring 23 points and grabbing eight rebounds. The Gamecocks are gaining momentum at the right time, as the team still has an outside shot at claiming the conference championship. South Carolina will continue its march towards relevancy as the team meets up with the Arkansas Razorbacks in the second round of the SEC tournament on Thursday.
The Arkansas Razorbacks are currently projected to be a tournament team, but the team’s stumbles against weaker competition has been the Razorbacks’ downfall this year. While the Gamecocks look to continue a magical run, the Razorbacks will look to avoid being jettisoned from tournament contention, which is what would happen if Arkansas lost on Thursday.
The second round clash between South Carolina and Arkansas is essentially an NCAA tournament elimination game, and although the loser of the game is eliminated for sure, the winner will not have the privilege of packing their bags for the tournament just yet.
Greg Douglas is a College Basketball writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on twitter @thegpd93 or add him to your Google Network.