Kernel staff predictions for SEC tournament


Freshman guard Ashton Hagans, Sophomore forward Nick Richards, Sophomore forward PJ Washington, Freshman guard Keldon Johnson, Freshman guard Tyler Herro (left to right) walk down the court together. No. 4 ranked UK men’s basketball team defeated Arkansas 70-66 at Rupp Arena on Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2019, in Lexington, Kentucky. Photo by Michael Clubb | Staff

Kernel Sports Staff

The Wildcats are heading down to Nashville as a no. 2 seed in the SEC Tournament. Ahead of UK’s first tip-off, our editors made some predictions about the tourney. Here’s what they expect:

After the SEC Tournament, what seed will UK have in the NCAA Tournament?

Erika Bonner (Sports Editor): I’m with Chase on a 2 seed. I think that’s most logical given the way their season has gone.

Chase Campbell (Assistant Sports Editor): A 2 seed, unless they win the whole thing. The top of the SEC is ridiculously difficult, and losses against Seton Hall and Alabama won’t help the resume.

Which team does Kentucky not want to see in the SEC Tournament?

Erika: I’m going with the cookie-cutter answer of Tennessee. After a split series with the Vols, we saw how it can go drastically one way or the other. Granted, the second time around, UK didn’t have big man Reid Travis, but the Vols REALLY beat up on the Cats, and even with the possibility of having Travis back, I think UT could do it again.

Chase: Ole Miss. Everyone wants a Tennessee rubber match, or that would be my vote. UK doesn’t want to face a team that’s going to fight and scrap as hard as the Rebels do. Unfortunately for the Cats, Ole Miss is probably going to be their quarterfinal matchup.

Which team DOES Kentucky want to see in the SEC Tournament?

Erika: Alabama. Despite UK’s gross loss to the Tide in its very first SEC game of the season, the Cats definitely would want to see this team in the tournament give their improvement since then.

Chase: Alabama. The Tide have played a very poor 2019, and the Cats would love nothing more than revenge on a team that likely won’t be that hard to beat since UK has improved throughout the conference season. LSU is a very close second.

Who will be the MVP of the SEC Tournament for the Cats?

Erika: P.J. Washington. Right now he’s averaging 14.9 points per game and and 7.5 rebounds per game. I think his consistency lately is going to show up big in the tournament, and the Cats will thrive on his versatility in order to go far.

Chase: Tyler “Bucket” Herro. Away from the confines of Rupp Arena, and in pressure situations, it’s easy to see the high-level scorer going berserk in Nashville. He’s done it so many times already.