Chris Pendley of SB Nation's University of Tennessee site Rocky Top Talk breaks down the odds for the SEC Tournament in advance of the Tennessee Lady Vols' first game tomorrow.
The favorites should be somewhat obvious.
Kentucky (24-5, 13-3), Tennessee (21-8, 12-4): 3-1. This is what it had to come down to, didn't it? Kentucky's playing closer to their talent peak, Tennessee has a higher talent peak (it's getting in the way a bit, to be honest), they split the season series, they were pretty clearly the best two teams over the course of the conference season, and they're on a collision course for Sunday. Obviously, the path won't be easy but I'd feel a bit deprived if we don't see a rubber match (which I see as more of an even match - no more than 5 points either way).
To Pendley's point about "talent peaks", the outcome of the rubber match might depend more on which Tennessee team shows up than anything Kentucky does - it's been an up and down year for the Lady Vols, with a few lackluster wins and disappointing losses. One Rocky Top Talk commenter expressed a similar sentiment, suggesting a boom or bust scenario for the Lady Vols.
To me, it's pretty simple ...They either win four or lose one. I don’t think there’s much in-between — if they beat Vandy like a drum, then they’ll go all the way. But — this team has puzzled and surprised better basketball minds than mine, so we’ll just have to see.
Although there might be some drama surrounding who will win the conference, the conference's NCAA tournament bids appear to be set at eight: ESPN's Charlie Creme currently has 8 in, just as Pendley suggests.
Click here for the bracket and broadcast times for the SEC Tournament (.pdf).