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Staff Predictions: SEC Tournament

With the 2019 SEC Men’s Basketball Tournament in full swing, we at Fanrun Radio gave our predictions for how this weekend will shape out.

Here are our picks for the showdown in the Sunday title game, the winner of the SEC Tournament and the tournament MVP:

Tanner Carson, Digital Editor, Host of “Overtime”

Title Game: Auburn vs. Kentucky

Winner: Auburn

MVP: Bryce Brown, Auburn

“I am someone who is a student of history, and what does history always do? It repeats itself. The way that the Auburn Tigers have been playing to close the regular season and begin the postseason — including winner their first SEC Tournament game in four years with a win over Missouri — is the way your team needs to be playing in March. Think of last season’s Kentucky squad or the Marshall Henderson-led 2013 Ole Miss team that got super hot in the SEC Tournament. I think this Auburn team has the same type of chemistry, especially if Austin Wiley is able to contribute solid minutes.

I think that Saturday will feature the rubber match between Tennessee and Kentucky, and it should finally be a competitive meeting between these two. However, if history repeats itself, we all know that the Vols have not cut down the nets in the SEC Tournament since the Iranian Revolution. I have experienced plenty of pain in this tournament in just a relatively short time and until I see it, I cannot predict it. However, this Tennessee team has shown all season that they do not care about historical precedent. I just can’t predict otherwise right now.

Auburn shoots the lights out on Sunday and beats the Wildcats for the first time in three tries this season.”

AJ Cook, Digital Contributor/Panelist on “Overtime”

Title Game: Kentucky vs. Auburn

Winner: Kentucky

MVP: Tyler Herro, Kentucky

“For what it’s worth, I think the winner of the potential Kentucky-Tennessee semifinal game wins the tournament. Kentucky has been to the SEC Tournament Championship eight of the last nine years, and it’s won six of those trips, including the last four.

For that, it gets the benefit of the doubt. Is this year’s Kentucky team better than all of those others? Absolutely not. But they’re better than some of them. If they can find a way to skate by Tennessee in the semis, I’m guessing Auburn will meet them in the final.

Auburn is going into the tournament on a tear, winning six of their last seven games. Its only loss? Kentucky.”

Nate Hodges, Owner/GM, Host of “3 & OUT”

Title Game: LSU vs. Tennessee

Winner: Tennessee

MVP: Admiral Schofield, Tennessee

“I’d like to say that LSU won’t make the final but its path just isn’t that difficult. But without Javonta Smart, the Vols get it done after a tough win over Kentucky in the semis everyone will be watching.

Admiral finds his postseason form and refuses to lose in his final SEC Tournament.”

Davey Hudson, Executive Producer of “3 & OUT”

Title Game: Kentucky vs. LSU

Winner: Kentucky

MVP: PJ Washington, Kentucky

“When critically examining this year’s bracket, I don’t see a glaring reason why the Vols shouldn’t win the tournament. Kentucky winning it all again with P.J. being named MVP is the last thing I want; therefore, it’s likely what will ultimately happen.

Tennessee hasn’t won the SEC Tournament since 1979 so it’s difficult for me to bet on them, but if there is a year for the Vols to cut down the nets this is the one.”

Houston Kress, Creative Director/Co-Host of “3 & OUT”

Title Game: Tennessee vs. Auburn

Winner: Tennessee

MVP: Grant Williams, Tennessee

“Tennessee has been money in revenge games under Rick Barnes, and I think that trend continues. Auburn is riding a wave and got a favorable draw with a diminished LSU and South Carolina on their half of the bracket. I think Tennessee dispatches MSU, Kentucky, and gets the revenge-win over Auburn for the title to secure a No. 1 seed. See you in Minneapolis.”

Will Oakley, Digital Contributor

Title Game: LSU vs. Tennessee

Winner: Tennessee

MVP: Admiral Schofield, Tennessee

“In the world of college basketball, March only means one thing: tournament time. This SEC Tournament should be very interesting because, in my opinion, there is no clear favorite to win it all. However, I believe the final will be a rematch of Tennessee vs. LSU. Although there are quite a few distractions happening down in Baton Rouge at the moment, I think the Tigers will be able to get to the championship game on Sunday thanks to their “strong ass” talent.

If I had to pick a winner right now, I would have to go with the Vols. Tennessee fans, myself included, would love a rematch with the Tigers after what happened down in Baton Rouge a few weeks ago. Much like the Kentucky game, I think if Tennessee were to get another shot at the Tigers they would be able to fix their mistakes that cost them the game and win. As for tournament MVP, I would have to go with Admiral Schofield. Though I’m sure Grant Williams and Jordan Bone will make a convincing case for themselves, I expect Schofield to perform well and put up big numbers in his final SEC Tournament.”

Logan Quinton, Digital Contributor

Title Game: Tennessee vs. Auburn

Winner: Tennessee

MVP: Jordan Bone, Tennessee

“There has not been a team in Tennessee basketball history better equipped to get to the Final Four, or ultimately, win the National Championship. That said, I can’t bet against them to win their first SEC Tournament title in four decades.

It’s unfortunate that Kentucky and Tennessee have to meet in the semi-final round of the conference tournament to advance. However, I think the third installment of the 2019 series will be a classic. The two teams might even meet for a fourth time in the Big Dance. But for now, I say that Tennessee beats Kentucky in a close one to get to the finals of the SEC Tournament. The Vols will face none other than Bruce Pearl and Auburn in the finals to avenge last week’s letdown. It wouldn’t surprise me if Florida finds their way to meet Tennessee, but I think poetic justice is in store for the Vols en route to a historic March.

Tournament MVP will be Jordan Bone. Grant Williams and Admiral Schofield will make their mark, but Bone will be the steady force. He was the Vols’ best player in the two games against Kentucky and had an amazing first half against Auburn. Ultimately, Bone will be the driving force behind the Vols’ mission to fulfill unfinished business.”

Russell Smith, Host of “The Drive”

Title Game: Kentucky vs. LSU

Winner: Kentucky

MVP: PJ Washington, Kentucky

“History says Tennessee won’t win the SEC Tournament. It hasn’t happened in my lifetime. Kentucky, on the other hand, has won it 31 times. Tennessee probably should win, but I’ll have to see it to beehive it’s possible.”

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