The 2011 SEC Tournament, beginning March 10, now has a clearer pecking order. The Florida Gators trounced the Alabama Crimson Tide 78-51 Tuesday night, giving Florida the No. 1 seed in the tournament. Chandler Parsons in particular was huge for Florida, which overcame a halftime tie to blow out Alabama in the second.
Having won the SEC West, Alabama will get a first-round bye as well, as will whoever emerges from among the Vanderbilt Commodores, Kentucky Wildcats, Arkansas Razorbacks, and Mississippi St. Bulldogs. Hey, Vandy and Kentucky battle for the East’s other bye Tuesday night as well.
Winning the top spot entitles Florida to a slightly easier game on Friday than the one they would’ve drawn if they’d lost the advantage.
The loss hurts Bama’s NCAA Tournament chances, meaning the Tide will need a strong showing in the conference tourney to keep their strong season alive.