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RTT Roundtable: SEC Tournament Predictions

The staff break down their picks for the future SECT champion.

NCAA Basketball: SEC Tournament-Kentucky vs Arkansas Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

Finally, it is here.

The 2018 SEC Tournament begins this Wednesday, March 7th. Tipoff is scheduled for 7PM ET.

So who will take home the championship? The staff makes their picks below:

Evan: Where to even begin? This is arguably the toughest conference in the country and it is nowhere near top-heavy. Every single team in the bottom half of the conference has at least one win against one of the conference’s top four teams.

No team is safe and if they think otherwise, they are bound for disappointment.

I believe three of the top four teams - sorry, Auburn - have more than a legit chance to win the tournament. Florida has the guard play, but lacks size. UT has the consistency and flexibility, but has questionable guard play at times. Kentucky is good, but they can lay an egg at any moment.

My dark horse is Arkansas. They rank near the top of the SEC in just about every offensive category and they do have a big man to bang around down low. If they get past Florida, then they just may be the team to beat.

My pick is Tennessee. I love the side of the bracket that they are on and Saturday’s win against Georgia showed me that they are indeed tournament-ready. Rick Barnes will find the hot hand at guard come tournament time and that - along with UT’s depth - will be the key to a postseason tournament championship.

Prediction: Tennessee Volunteers

Noah: With a share of the regular season title already in hand, don’t count on Rick Barnes’ squad to hang their hat on that. You can bet that Tennessee is looking to take the conference tournament crown, as well. The bracket really works out well in the Vols favor, as they will have potential Friday match ups with LSU (17-13), Mississippi State (21-10), South Carolina (16-15), Ole Miss (12-19), and Arkansas (21-10).

While the Vols have beaten four out of the six teams twice this season, don’t let the records fool you. This is as good as the SEC has been in a long time, and as we’ve seen this season, any of these teams can beat you on any give night. A potential match-up with Florida-who Tennessee beat 64-57 just over two weeks ago-is no gimmie, especially with the Gators winning three straight to close out the regular season.

Still, I think Barnes will have the team focused and primed to go on a championship run, especially given what we’ve seen out of this team’s ability to fight back and win late (i.e. Georgia). I’m going to have Tennessee vs Kentucky for the championship final, with the Vols completing the three-game sweep in another close contest.

Prediction: Tennessee Volunteers

Conner: This bracket sets up really well for Tennessee to win its second iteration of an SEC championship in as many weeks.

The Vols went 7-1 against the teams in their half of the bracket — with the lone loss in overtime on the road against Arkansas — and just 6-4 against the teams in Auburn’s half. Tennessee took care of LSU and Mississippi State handily in the regular season and should be able handle the winner of that matchup, setting up a great semifinal game against likely either Florida or Arkansas.

If Tennessee is able to advance to the championship game, it will likely take on Auburn or Kentucky. Either opponent would be welcomed by Vols fans, with either an opportunity to avenge the loss to the Tigers and shut down all this co-champions talk, or a chance to go 3-0 against the Wildcats this season.

Regardless of who Tennessee plays this weekend, I think UT is the most complete team in the SEC and should be favored in any matchup it could draw. You can take any of the other 13 teams, but give me the Vols.

Prediction: Tennessee Volunteers

Terry: Just looking at the bracket, Auburn got hosed. Not that we’re complaining about it, but Alabama/Texas A&M seems a lot worse than Mississippi State/LSU. Even after that — Kentucky/Missouri is pretty rough for Bruce Pearl’s squad.

It’s hard not to like Tennessee’s path to Sunday. However, both Arkansas and Florida scare me. Both teams can really fire the three and if they get hot, they can beat anyone. We saw Tennessee give Georgia plenty of open looks from deep in the first half on Saturday. The Volunteers will need that defense we saw in the second half against Georgia to have a shot to cut down the nets again.

With how close this league is from 1-14, I think we see a pretty wild tournament. I’m not sure chalk is the way to go here if you’re looking for a winner. I think Tennessee is able to get to Sunday’s Championship matchup, but I think they get upset for the title.

This pick is pending the return of Michael Porter Jr, but I think Missouri has a nice path and a decent shot at taking the whole tournament down.

Prediction: Missouri Tigers