The Quarterfinals of the SEC Tournament takes place today and we will see the Vanderbilt Commodores take on the Kentucky Wildcats. The game is scheduled for a 7:30 pm (Eastern) start time and will be televised on the SEC Network. Currently the Odds for the game have Kentucky favored by 6 points while the total sits at 126.
Analysis: Vanderbilt pulled off an upset in its second-round matchup by taking down seventh-seeded Arkansas, 75-72. The Commodores, who defeated Kentucky in last year's SEC Tournament championship game, are just 15-16 on the season but are surprisingly one of the hottest teams in the league with wins in five of their last six games. Vanderbilt played the role of front-runner for most of its latest game, even leading by as many as 16 points in the second half, and while the Razorbacks cut their deficit to single-digits down the stretch, they could never take the lead. The team had a modest night shooting from the field (.411), but it was active from 3-point range, draining 12-of-28 from beyond the arc. On the season, the Commodores typically aren't a very strong offensive team, netting a mere 60.5 ppg, but they have found success thanks to their outstanding defense, which allows just 60.4 ppg. Johnson is the team's top scorer with 13.6 ppg, while Odom brings 10.5 ppg to the table.
Kentucky (21-10) halted a two-game skid in its regular-season finale by securing a 61-57 home victory over Florida to finish at 12-6 in the SEC and earn the No. 2 seed in this event. The win over the nationally-ranked Gators certainly helped the Wildcats' NCAA Tournament chances, but they would still benefit greatly from a strong showing in the SEC Tournament, where they are the most successful team in event history with a 119-23 record and 27 titles. The Wildcats appeared in trouble when they trailed Florida by seven (57-50) with under eight minutes to play the last time out, but they held the Gators scoreless for the rest of the game as they finished on an 11-0 run to capture the potential-season-saving victory. UK shot less than 40 percent from the field on the afternoon but kept turnovers to a minimum (10) and won the rebounding battle (40-34). Kentucky uses a balanced attack that generates 73.9 ppg, while also playing solid defense in yielding just 64.6 ppg. Goodwin acts as the team's leading scorer with 14.1 ppg, while Poythress (11.6 ppg, 6.2 rpg) is also piecing together an impressive freshman campaign. Upperclassmen Kyle Wiltjer (10.5 ppg), Harrow (10.3 ppg) and Mays (9.5 ppg) are all potent threats out on the perimeter.
Pick: I will go with the Cats in this one. This is a team that needs a huge win if they are to impress the committee. Kentucky did beat Vandy in 2 close games this year, but they are rested for his one, while Vandy played an up an down the court game vs Arkansas yesterday and that should give the Cats a huge edge. Look for Kentucky to pull away late.
Reading The March Madness Betting MarketAs we head into the month of March, Vegas Runner and RJ Bell will take a look at reading the betting market for this years March Madness