Kentucky won its fifth SEC regular-season title in John Calipari's eight seasons, and the coach says the Wildcats "haven't peaked yet."
But it's no slam dunk Kentucky will capture its third straight SEC Tournament crown. Florida whipped the Wildcats by 22 in Gainesville, then lost by 10 in Lexington in the rematch.
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The SEC tourney opens Wednesday at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, with the top four seeds -- Kentucky, Florida, South Carolina and Arkansas -- starting play Friday.
Those four teams are locks for the NCAA Tournament, while Georgia and Vanderbilt have work to do. The Commodores have won five of six, the lone loss coming at Kentucky in a game Vandy led in the second half by 13.
Here are the odds to win the SEC Tournament, courtesy of BookMaker.eu:
South Carolina +1300
Mississippi State +3500
Texas A&M +3500
Ole Miss +4500
THE FAVORITE: Kentucky (risk $105 to win $100) -- The Wildcats have become adept at overcoming slow starts. With a collection of star freshmen and key veterans, they enter the tourney having won eight straight, including comeback victories over Florida and Vandy.
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As usual, Kentucky will have a big edge in fan turnout all weekend.
VALUE PLAY: Arkansas (risk $100 to win $1600) -- The Razorbacks come in on a 6-1 run (both straight-up and against the spread). Led by three seniors, Arkansas shot 56 percent and held Georgia to 31.1 percent shooting in an 85-67 rout Saturday. Mike Anderson's club likely opens against Ole Miss.
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LONG SHOT: Vanderbilt (risk $100 to win $2000) -- The Commodores have gone 9-4 down the stretch to get back on the bubble. That run includes a sweep of Florida. Opening the tourney Thursday against Texas A&M, Vandy is playing with desperation for first-year coach Bryce Drew.
PICK: Kentucky (risk $105 to win $100) -- Kentucky and Gonzaga are the nation's only two teams that rank in the Top 15 in both offensive and defensive efficiency, according to KenPom.com. With Florida starting to feel the loss of injured starting center John Egbunu, I'll back the Wildcats to earn an SEC Tournament three-peat.
Mississippi State (-6) and LSU kick off the 2017 SEC Tournament on Wednesday night, followed by Auburn (-6.5) and Missouri.
Georgia, Alabama, Vanderbilt, and Ole Miss all advanced on Thursday in the second round in Nashville. The only close game was Georgia-Tennessee, with the Dawgs winning by 2. Friday's action starts at Noon CT.