SEC Tournament Championship: Kentucky Captures SEC Tournament Crown, 70-54 Over Florida

The 2011 SEC Tournament begins March 10 in the Georgia Dome. Here's a look at the tournament schedule and bracket.

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SEC Tournament 2011 Bracket: LSU Vs. Vanderbilt

The final match-up in the opening round of the 2011 SEC Basketball Tournament, whose complete bracket you can see right here, is a match-up between LSU and Vanderbilt. On paper, this game could be the most lopsided match-up of the first round pitting the Commodores who are a twenty win team against an LSU club that has just three conference wins this season. 

Of course these sorts of things aren't played out on paper and Vanderbilt comes into the tournament losing three of its last four games. Those three losses were to three of the better teams in the SEC in Florida, Kentucky, and Tennessee. The only win for the Commodores in that four game stretch was a 90-69 victory over these same LSU Tigers that they will face on Thursday. Vanderbilt finished as the third seed in the East and is led by the SEC's leading scorer John Jenkins who is averaging 19.4 points per game this season. 

It has been a lost season in Baton Rouge for LSU coach Trent Johnson. His Tigers at one point lost ten consecutive conference games and finished with just one win in LSU's last 14 games. The Tigers are led by All-SEC freshman guard Ralston Turner who averaged 12.8 points per game in his first season in the bayou. 

Tip off for this game is scheduled for 10 p.m.

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SEC Tournament 2011 Bracket: Tennessee Vs. Arkansas

Thursday's third game in the 2011 SEC Basketball Tournament (complete bracket right here) will match-up Tennessee and Arkansas. The Volunteers are the No 5 seed from the Eastern Division while Arkansas is the No 4 seed from the west. The Vols finished the season 18-13, 8-8 in conference play. The Razorbacks were 18-12, 7-9 in SEC play. The game kicks off the evening session at the Dome and is scheduled to tip-off at 7:30 p.m.

It in interesting that both of these teams match-up with each other in the first round of the tournament given the scrutiny that both of the team's head coaches have been under this season. Arkansas coach John Pelphrey recently had to defend his program against claims made in a recent local newspaper ad. That may seem minor when you consider that Tennessee was without its head coach Bruce Pearl for eight games after being suspended by the SEC for apparently misleading NCAA investigators when questioned about recruiting violations.

In an up and down season, the Vols have been more down of late. They lost their final two home games to Mississippi State and Kentucky. They did pull out a hard-fought 73-69 victory over South Carolina before the Kentucky loss but are just 3-6 in their last nine games. Tennessee is however very talented. Talented enough to defeat teams like Memphis, Villanova, and No. 3 Pitt. The problem is they are also inconsistent enough to lose to teams like Oakland, Charlotte, and College of Charleston. Scotty Hopson leads the way for the Vols averaging 17.7 points per game.

The Razorbacks lost their last two games of the season to Ole Miss and Mississippi State. Like the Vols, they experienced some tough losses but found a way to beat both Kentucky and Vanderbilt. Arkansas is led by junior guard Rotnei Clarke who is averaging 15.1 points per contest.

The winner of this match-up will advance to take on No. 1 overall seed Florida on Friday.

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SEC Tournament 2011 Bracket: South Carolina Vs. Ole Miss

South Carolina and Ole Miss will square off in the second game of the 2011 SEC Basketball Tournament. Tip off is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. and will be broadcast on the SEC Network. 

South Carolina is the fifth seed from the SEC East but did defeat the third seeded Rebels in their only meeting this season. The Gamecocks broke a five game losing streak by defeating Ole Miss 79-73 in Columbia behind 23 points from Sam Muldrow. That victory was South Carolina's only win in its last nine games of the regular season. 

Ole Miss enters the tournament with a 19-12 overall record and fresh off of a 84-74 victory over Arkansas in its regular season finale. The Rebels are led by one of the SEC's top scorers in senior guard Chris Warren whose 18.9 points per game average ranks him second in the conference. 

South Carolina finished a disappointing 14-15 on the season and just 5-11 in conference play. Of the Gamecocks five conference victories, two came at the expense of SEC East heavyweights Florida and Vanderbilt. So South Carolina is capable of pulling the upset behind the stellar play of freshman guard Bruce Ellington how averages 13 points and 3.2 assists per game. 

The winner of this game will be rewarded with a match-up against the East's No. 2 seeded Kentucky Wildcats in the second round. 

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SEC Tournament 2011 Bracket: Georgia Vs. Auburn

The 2011 SEC Basketball Tournament will tip off this Thursday at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta. The first match-up tips off at 1 p.m. and will be between the fourth seeded Georgia Bulldogs and the fifth seeded Auburn Tigers.

Georgia finds itself sitting firmly on the NCAA Tournament bubble and can ill afford an early tournament exit especially to an Auburn team that has struggled for much of the season. Georgia won the previous meeting against the two teams but needed overtime to prevail 81-72 in Athens. In that game, Auburn’s Earnest Ross scored a career high 30 points while nearly leading the Tigers to an upset win over the Bulldogs. Georgia outscored Auburn 14-5 in overtime behind 22 points and 14 rebounds from senior Jeremy Price.

Now the two teams meet with much still at stake for the Bulldogs. With a win Georgia gets a rematch with western division champ Alabama and another chance to help strengthen its tournament resume. If Georgia loses then they may be making plans for the NIT rather than the NCAA tournament. Auburn is looking to play the part of spoiler and is just looking to extend its season one more game.

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