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SEC Basketball Tournament, Day Three. Things Get Real.

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Deja vu all over again?
Deja vu all over again?
Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

So far the SEC Tournament has provided some compelling basketball. Unless you're an Ole Miss fan. Unless you are an Ole Miss fan. In that case it may seem that the whole enterprise was set up merely to continue to allow the sports gods to torment you.

And while the past couple of days were a nice appetizer, they were really only a prelude to the weekend, when teams like Georgia who earned a double-bye enter the arena. Your schedule for the day:
Game 7: No. 1 Kentucky vs. No. 8 Florida, 1 p.m., SEC Network
Game 8: No. 4 LSU vs. No. 13 Auburn, 3 p.m., SEC Network
Game 9: No. 2 Arkansas vs. No. 10 Tennessee, 7 p.m., SEC Network
Game 10: No. 3 Georgia vs. No. 11 South Carolina, 9 p.m., SEC Network


The day's first matchup gives us a chance to choose between rooting for Goliath or for David dressed in jorts and a tank top. I hate Florida. I'd also hate to play Kentucky again down the road. I think you can root however you want in this one, the outcome is still going to be pretty predictable. There are teams in this bracket capable of taking down the Wildcats. Florida ain't one of them.

Auburn had not won an SEC tournament game since 2009 before winning two in a row to earn a matchup with 4 seed LSU. As the Hoop Hounds saw in February, Bruce Pearl's squad can be dangerous. If you've watched LSU at all this season you know that the Bayou Bengals can be dangerous too. Both to themselves and others as the SEC's most manic depressive basketball team (not from Athens).  A win this afternoon will solidify the purple and gold's NCAA bid status.

The evening games get underway with Arkansas and Tennessee.  The Hogs have a bevy of athletic perimeter weapons buzzing around sophomore big man and SEC Player of the Year Bobby Portis to make for the SEC's second best team.  They should easily dispatch the Vols who won an in state showdown with Vanderbilt yesterday, but have still lost 10 of their last 14 games.

And then there's our night cap.  We've been beaten, bruised, and bloodied by the Gamecocks twice this year.  We need a win to lock up a much desired NCAA bid, to get a dose of revenge, and probably most important of all, find a way to come out unscathed from a borderline violent team you'd expect from a hot-head like Frank Martin.

Let the games (and the discussion) begin!