UK to face Vanderbilt for SEC Tournament championship

UK will play Vanderbilt for the 2012 SEC Tournament championship on Sunday at 1 p.m., broadcast on ABC.

Historically speaking, the two teams are on opposite ends of the spectrum.

UK has won 27 SEC Tournament titles, 21 more than any other team. Vanderbilt has won one, and that came in 1951.

However, this is probably the most competitive final UK could have faced. The Commodores have played UK close in both meetings — UK won by six on the road and by nine at home — and even outscored the Cats in two of the four halves (40-33 in the second half of the first meeting, 37-36 in the first half of the second meeting).

UK beat Florida 74-71 in the semifinals. Vanderbilt beat Ole Miss 65-53.

Some quotes from Vanderbilt head coach Kevin Stallings and players on playing UK:

Lance Goulbourne: “I think it’s pretty tough for a team to beat another team three times in one season. We know those guys pretty well, we played them twice and we played them down to the wire both times. We know their tendencies.”

Stallings: “They have lost one game and that was really a fluke. So I’m not sure there is a formula to beat them. It’s a heck of a reward to get to play them after you come down here and slug it out for two games, and then you look up and it’s a road game, for us, against the best team in the country.”

Stallings: “Can anybody play better than Florida played today? Holy cow. I mean, that’s the best I’ve seen Florida play all year, and it wasn’t enough. So it just kind of speaks to the greatness of this Kentucky team. … Florida played their behinds off. But at the end, Kentucky just has another gear that they can go to and get it done.”

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