Who’s in? Who’s out? SEC in the NCAA Tournament


Arkansas played Tennessee in the SEC tournament semifinals on Saturday, March 10, 2018, in St. Louis, Missouri. Photo by Arden Barnes | Staff

Abbie Long

It’s the day college basketball fans have been waiting for since November: Selection Sunday. Bracketology expert Joe Lunardi has projected that eight SEC teams will make it into the field of 68 teams, the most in conference history, and the same number as the ACC.

What SEC teams are in? Which teams are out? Who is on the bubble heading into the Sunday Selection Show?



Even after being routed by Alabama on Friday in the quarterfinal of the SEC tournament, the Tigers are still being projected as a No. 3 seed in the Midwest region with their first-round game being against Wright State. Since losing forward Anfernee McLemore last month to a season-ending injury, the Tigers rounded out the regular season 2-3 in their last five games. How will they fare the NCAA tournament without McLemore, and with only eight scholarship players available?


The Volunteers are projected to be locked into the No. 3 seed in the South region, with their first-round match up to be against Charleston. Tennessee has two quality wins over UK, as well as a win over the Florida Gators.


After going through a four-game losing streak just weeks ago, the Wildcats have turned their season back around by performing exceptionally well in the SEC tournament. They’ll get the automatic bid from winning the SEC Tournament, and will likely get a much higher seed than what analysts thought a month ago.


The Gators are projected as a six-seed in the West region, with a first-round match up against the winner of the a play-in game featuring Arizona St. and a “last four in” Oklahoma team. The Gators have two notable wins against UK, but recently took a tough eight-point loss to Arkansas in the SEC tournament quarterfinals.


The Razorbacks are projected as the No. 7 seed in the East region, playing USC in the first round of the NCAA tournament. They rounded out the regular season 10-8 in SEC standings. Arkansas had impressive wins against Auburn and their most recent win against Florida in the quarterfinals of the SEC tournament.

Texas A&M

The Aggies are currently projected as the No. 7 seed in the West region with their first opponent being Providence. They finished 9-9 in SEC conference play, but had solid wins against West Virginia early in the season, and UK and Auburn during conference play. They took a brutal loss to Alabama in the first round of the SEC Tournament, however. This may hurt their overall seeding.


Missouri is projected as the No. 8 seed in the West region with Texas A&M and Florida, with their first opponent as Kansas State. The Tigers have struggled without star freshman Michael Porter Jr. who has been out nearly all season with a back injury. Even since returning back to the court, Porter hasn’t been as sharp as he once was before having back surgery. He should be far fresher for the NCAA Tournament, however.


Going into the SEC tournament, the Crimson Tide was a “bubble team” with low expectations from many college basketball analysts. After going 17-14 during the regular season, Alabama made a run in the SEC tournament, making it to the semifinals after beating Texas A&M and Auburn. These notable SEC tournament wins boosted their tournament resume, and they are now projected as a No. 9 seed in the South region, matching up against Creighton.


Mississippi State (22-11), Georgia (18-15), LSU (17-14), South Carolina (17-16), Vanderbilt (12-20), Ole Miss (12-20)


None. Prior to the SEC tournament Alabama was arguably on the bubble; however, after making an impressive SEC tournament run, they are no longer in the “bubble watch” conversation.