13 March, 2017
The SEC wraps up its conference tournament on Sunday at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville with a showdown between perennial conference power Kentucky, and longtime conference rival Arkansas. Arkansas center Moses Kingsley was assessed a flagrant 2 for a hard foul on Kentucky guard De'Aron Fox.
The No. 2 seed Badgers will play in the championship contest against No. 8 seed MI (23-11), which won its third game in three days with an 84-77 decision over Minnesota.
No. 5 seed Alabama, No. 6 seed Ole Miss and No. 7 seed Vanderbilt all took care of business, each winning their second-round games by 12 points or more.
Both teams shot less than 40 percent in the first half, as Alabama led 23-23 at halftime.
MI 84, MINNESOTA 77: Derrick Walton Jr. had 29 points, nine assists and five rebounds to carry eighth-seeded MI into the Big Ten title game with a victory over fourth-seeded Minnesota at Washington.
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The Commodores have six RPI top-50 victories, 12 top-100 wins and were the only SEC team to sweep Florida this season, beating the Gators three times. Ahead in the bracket if Kentucky gets into the Sweet 16 could be a rematch with UCLA, and the No. 1 seed in the South is North Carolina, a team Kentucky beat 103-100 behind a 47-point effort from Malik Monk in Las Vegas back in December. During that time Arkansas went almost seven minutes without a point. Officials immediately called an intentional foul after Kingsley went straight for Fox's face. Defensively, Kentucky is yielding 71.8 points against the opposing teams. P.J. Dozier had 15 points and Rakym Felder had 10 as the Gamecocks shot 37 percent.
"When they're going together, we're unbelievable", freshman forward Bam Adebayo said of his classmates.
Vandy coach Bryce Drew tried to rest his starters where he could in the first half with Luke Kornet and Roberson playing only 12 minutes after each played at least 38 minutes in Friday's overtime win over No. 17 Florida in the quarterfinals. Watkins had five points.
United Kingdom freshman Malik Monk, an Arkansas native who angered his home state by choosing to play for Kentucky, supposedly made slashing gestures at the Razorbacks' bench. Then Fox drained a 17-footer to put United Kingdom up 13-9 at 12:34 only see Arkansas bounce back to tie.
The miscues at the free-throw line also signaled the end of Alabama's run in the conference tournament.
At one point, Arkansas' Jaylen Barford appeared to step on Isaiah Briscoe after the United Kingdom player tried to take a charge. Macon topped the Razorbacks with 10 points.