Eight Reasons the SEC Tournament Matters for UK

The SEC Tournament is just around the corner and today we look at 8 reasons that the tourney matters for the Kentucky Wildcats.

 

1. Domination-Kentucky has won 28 SEC tournament championships with Alabama being the next closest team with just 6. The gap is insane and points to the dominance UK has had over the SEC and this is another chance to widen the gap.

2. Skal Labissiere-The much maligned freshman has seemingly turned a corner after two big games to close out the regular season. This is an opportunity to continue his growth and gain confidence going into the NCAA tournament.

3. More tweaking-The Cats have only recently got everyone healthy and are now a completely different team than they were early in the season. Cal needs these games to continue to tweak how this team plays in order to maximize it’s potential.

4. Reaching records– Jamal Murray has made 99 three point shots and is now just 18 threes away from the single season 3 point record set by Jodie Meeks. He is just 38 points behind Brandon Knight for the most points scored by a freshman in UK history.  Tyler Ulis is just 20 assists behind John Wall for the single season assist record at Kentucky.  It is a historic season for both and the more games they play the more history they can make.

5. Seeding– The Cats are likely locked into being a 4 or 5 seed at worst in the NCAA tournament but this is a chance to remove any doubt. It is also an opportunity to play up to a 3 seed depending on what other teams do as well.

6. Post season Mojo– In the Calipari era the SEC tournament has been a take off point for Kentucky to launch itself on a prolonged NCAA tournament run.

2010– the Cats won the tournament and then went to the Elite Eight.

2011– the Cats played their best basketball up to that point and won the tournament, then made a magical run to the Final Four as a 4 seed.

2012-the Cats lost the Championship game which served to get their attention and that helped push UK to win the NCAA title.

2013– they lost their first game of the tournament which sent them to the NIT.

2014– saw Kentucky struggle greatly at the end of the season before the Cats used the SEC tourney to pull it all together.  Despite losing the final game to Florida the Cats were propelled to a run to the NCAA championship game.

2015– the Cats ran through the tournament like they had every game of the season and then went on to go to the Final Four.

7. 1,000 point club– Alex Poythress has scored 908 points in his career and is trying to become the first Cat to join the 1,000 point club since Darius Miller, Doron Lamb, and Terrence Jones all reached the mark in 2011. The knee injury this season forced him to miss some games and that will make it tough for him to get there.  If he averages 10.5 points per game that means he would need to play 9 games to get there.  For that to even be possible the Cats must make it to both the championship games of the SEC and NCAA tournaments.  That would be a decent finish to the season.

8. Derek Willis– After missing several games with a sprained ankle Willis returned for the season finale against LSU. This is a great chance for him to knock the rust off and get back to the form he was playing at before the injury.

 

It is finally tournament time and March Madness has arrived.  Big Blue Nation will soon fill the streets of Nashville.  How can you not love this time of year?

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