Current SEC Conference Win Odds: Updated 02/25/21
|Alabama Crimson Tide||+2000||+225|
|Ole Miss Rebels||+5000||+5000|
|Mississippi State Bulldogs||+20000||+5000|
|South Carolina Gamecocks||+1500||+15000|
|Texas A&M Aggies||+10000||+30000|
The SEC has a lot of NCAA Tournament caliber teams, but not many that are likely to make a lot of noise when they get there. The Alabama Crimson Tide look like the conference’s most promising hopeful, followed by Arkansas. Tennessee, Florida, and LSU have all had various issues as the season has gone along. They all have the talent to make a push, and maybe the conference will have three or maybe even four Sweet 16 teams.
As far as the conference winner odds go, Alabama looks like a really tough team to beat. They are extremely well-coached by Nate Oats and actually play pretty good defense for a team that generally gets its headlines from its shooting prowess and some gaudy offensive totals.
The fast pace that the Crimson Tide plays at will probably hide some of their defensive value from some bettors out there. The +250 price might seem tough to stomach in Nashville for the SEC Tournament, but this is clearly and pretty decisively the best team in the league from a metrics standpoint.
That being said, Arkansas got revenge for the beating Alabama gave them in January by returning the favor with a 15-point win on February 24. That is the type of win that can alter a futures market a bit and now we do see the Razorbacks nipping at Alabama’s heels.
The Tennessee Volunteers got off to such a good start and made a lot of hay early in the season, but they’ve consistently been falling back in the metrics and have had several clunkers in conference play with some games where the offense simply didn’t show up in any way, shape, or form. It will be interesting to see how Tennessee finishes out the season, but the Vols seem to be a little overmatched in this league against better competition and that cannot be the case come conference tourney time.
LSU is the Iowa of the South. A team that can score with the best of them, but has struggled to play defense. The difference between the two is that Iowa actually picked up its defense down the stretch, while LSU is still trying to outscore everybody. It isn’t a good profile to have when the postseason rolls around, so despite some fairly attractive odds at +1150, the Tigers look like a tough sell.
Missouri at +500 seems like a really optimistic price and the same can be said about Florida at +550. This looks like Alabama’s tournament to lose and Arkansas’s steady improvement under Eric Musselman has the Razorbacks and Tide on a crash course for a rubber match.
SEC Conference History:
The Southeastern Conference, better known as the SEC, held its first men’s basketball tournament in 1933. In the inaugural tournament, the Kentucky Wildcats beat the Mississippi State Bulldogs by a score of 46-27. This was the first of Kentucky’s 31 tournament championships.
To put the number of Kentucky’s SEC tournament wins into perspective, the team with the second-most SEC men’s basketball tournament championships is Alabama with six. Missouri, South Carolina, and Texas A&M have yet to win one. South Carolina has played in two championship games while Texas A&M made it to the big game once in 2016 leaving Missouri as the only SEC men’s basketball team to never make it to the finals.
Since 2010, the Wildcats have claimed six SEC Tournament championships including a run of four straight titles between 2015 and 2018. Their tournament championship run came to an end in 2019 when they fell to Tennessee in the semifinals. The Volunteers went on to lose to Auburn who won their second SEC tournament championship. As is the case with all SEC tournament winners, the Tigers earned an automatic entry into the NCAA Tournament where they advanced to the Final Four for the first time in the school’s history.
For those who don’t know, the SEC is made up of 14 schools that play an 18-game schedule before the SEC single-elimination tournament begins. Tournament seeding is determined by the regular season standings. The bottom four seeds play in the opening round while the top four receive automatic byes into the quarterfinals. As mentioned, the tournament winner earns a spot in the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.
SEC tournament champions have gone on to win the NCAA tournament 11 times. Of those 11 championships, Kentucky has 8 while Florida has two thanks to back-to-back tournament wins in 2006 and 2007. Arkansas won the NCAA tournament in 1994. The last SEC team to make it to the finals was Kentucky in 2014. They lost to UConn. At this point, Kentucky, Tennessee, LSU, and Florida are all legitimate contenders to make it into the Final Four of the 2021 tournament.
Win Count All-Time in Southeastern Tournament