SEC Tournament Brackets 2016: Schedule, Game Times Set For SEC Tournament [Updated]
SEC tournament brackets for 2016 have Texas A&M as the No. 1 seed. The 2016 SEC tournament schedule begins on March 9 and it should be an exciting battle for fans of the conference. After Texas A&M beat Vanderbilt on Saturday, March 5, the Aggies clinched the top seed in the SEC tournament brackets. Though the team will share the regular season championship with Kentucky, Texas A&M goes into the postseason tournament as the team to beat.
Kentucky easily beat LSU to wrap up the regular season, despite another double-double by NBA prospect Ben Simmons. LSU dropped to 18-13 (11-7) on the season, but Simmons should give the team an edge when the NCAA Selection Committee is deciding which schools to invite. It may require that LSU puts together a win or two in a very tough SEC tournament bracket though.
The LSU Tigers could wind up in a three-way tie with Vanderbilt and South Carolina to finish the SEC regular season. The top four schools get a double-bye in the tournament, so it’s an important distinction within the SEC tournament brackets. Earlier in the regular season, LSU did beat Vanderbilt, but ended up losing to South Carolina. Meanwhile, South Carolina went 2-0 against those opponents, winning the three-team tie-breaker. If the Gamecocks beat Arkansas later on March 5, they become the No. 3 seed in the SEC.
The first game in the 2016 SEC tournament brackets is already set, as No. 12 Tennessee vs. No. 13 Auburn will take place on March 9. The winner advances to play No. 5 Vanderbilt in the second round. The other second-round games are No. 8 Florida vs. No. 9 Arkansas at 12 p.m. CT, No. 7 Ole Miss vs. No. 10 Alabama at 6 p.m. CT, and No. 6 Georgia vs. No. 11 Mississippi State 20 minutes later. The Vanderbilt vs. Tennessee or Auburn game takes place 20 minutes after Florida vs. Arkansas.
The quarterfinals in the SEC tournament schedule take place on Friday, March 11. No. 1 Texas A&M will play at 12 p.m. CT against the winner of the Arkansas and Florida game. They are followed by No. 4 LSU against the survivor of Vanderbilt, Tennessee, and Auburn about 20 minutes after the opening game. The evening games begin at 6 p.m. CT with No. 2 Kentucky playing the winner of Alabama vs. Ole Miss. About 20 minutes later it will be No. 3 South Carolina vs. the winner of Georgia vs. Mississippi State.
— SEC (@SEC) March 6, 2016
There are a lot of complicated scenarios that could shift the seeding, with many tie-breakers coming into play following Saturday’s games (March 5). It may take until the end of the last regular season game for the 2016 SEC tournament brackets to be officially set. That last game has Florida 17-13 (8-9) playing on the road against Missouri 10-20 (3-14). The odds favor the Florida Gators to win the game and finish in a regular season tie with several other schools.
As for the national title implications, quite a few teams need to finish the regular season strong and then win several games in the SEC Tournament to get a good seed in the 2016 NCAA Tournament. In the latest prediction of the NCAA tournament bracket, Joe Lunardi at ESPN predicts that only four SEC schools are going to get invites. They are Texas A&M, Kentucky, Vanderbilt, and South Carolina. Currently on the bubble are LSU and Ole Miss.
There is a lot on the line during the 2016 SEC Tournament, especially with only four schools slated to get invites from the NCAA Selection Committee. It puts some added pressure on schools like LSU and Ole Miss to make it deep into the tournament. It might take winning the whole thing for LSU and Ben Simmons to get an invitation. The SEC tournament brackets begin on March 9 and continue until the SEC Championship Game takes place on ESPN on Sunday, March 13, at 12 p.m. CT.
[Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images]