Welcome to Watch The Kentucky Wildcats and Tennessee Volunteers are set to face off in the 2018 SEC Tournament Championship.The Cats advanced this far after dominating wins over Georgia and Alabama. The latter was an 86-63 over the Tide thanks to 23 points — including 7-of-7 shooting from three-point range — from sophomore forward Wenyen Gabriel.
UK now has an all-time record of 132-25 in the SEC Tournament, and has won 11 in a row, including the last three championships. Under head coach John Calipari, UK is 21-3 in the SEC Tournament with two of losses being in championship.
The Vols are in the title game after crushing Arkansas in Saturday’s semifinal action, 84-66. That came after Tennessee had to hold on for dear life against Mississippi State in Friday’s action, a game that saw the Vols escape with a 62-59 win.
While the Cats have looked like the best team in St. Louis, it was Tennessee who swept the regular-season series. The Vols won 76-65 when the teams met in Knoxville. They also won a thriller in Rupp Arena by a narrow 61-59 margin.
That was the second of what turned into a four-game losing streak for the Cats, who went on to win six of their next seven games and look like a Final Four contender in the process.
As for the Vols, they went on to earn a share of the SEC regular-season championship, though they entered the tournament as the No. 2 seed after Auburn beat them in the head-to-head matchup.
The Cats wound up with the No. 4 seed, which turned out to be really significant. The last four champions have done so after scoring a double-bye, and all 14 title game participants over the last seven years have been a top-four seed.
Make it 16 now as two of the top four seeds will be playing for the tournament title on Sunday.
For what it’s worth, UK has made it to the Final Four in both seasons they lost in the SEC title game (2012 & 2014), so a loss Sunday wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing for the Cats.
Tennessee Volunteers (25-7, 15-5 in SEC) vs Kentucky Wildcats (23-10, 12-8 in SEC)
Game time: 1 p.m. EST on March 11, 2018
Location: Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Missouri
TV Channel: ESPN
Live Online Stream: WatchESPN and the WatchESPN app.
Rosters: UK | UT
Radio: Tom Leach and Mike Pratt will have the UK radio network call on 630 AM and 98.1 FM in Lexington or online at UKAthletics.com. You can also listen to the game via the SEC Radio Network.
Tickets: Tickets for the SEC Tournament are on sale at Ticketmaster.com.
Odds: UT opened as a 1-point favorite. KenPom projected UT to be a 2-point favorite on a ‘neutral’ court. However, we’ve seen that the Cats are basically playing a home game in the Scottrade Center, which was about 80-percent UK fans on Saturday. KenPom projects UK to be a 2-point favorite if this were a home game.
Predictions: KenPom gives UK a 57-percent chance of winning and projects a 70-68 win for the Cats in a home game scenario. For a neutral game, KenPom gives UT a 56-percent chance of winning and projects a 70-68 win for the Vols.