Who gets in NCAA Tournament from SEC, Calipari and Martin say 5, I say 4

Tennessee forward Jordan McRae (52), forward Jarnell Stokes (5) and guard Cameron Tatum (23) go up for a rebound during the first half against Arkansas at Thompson-Boling Arena Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2012.  Tennessee won 77-58 over Arkansas.  (ADAM BRIMER/NEWS SENTINEL)

Photo by Adam Brimer, copyright © 2012

Tennessee forward Jordan McRae (52), forward Jarnell Stokes (5) and guard Cameron Tatum (23) go up for a rebound during the first half against Arkansas at Thompson-Boling Arena Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2012. Tennessee won 77-58 over Arkansas. (ADAM BRIMER/NEWS SENTINEL)

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I just don’t see 5 SEC schools getting in unless one of the lower schools win three games in the conference tournament. (Jim Harris has a good insight into several possibilities  at this link.) Alabama has an outside chance of getting in if they are impressive from here on out. Tennessee and Arkansas need to not only be impressive in the last part of the regular season but they also we need to make deep runs into the conference tournament.

It is my view that only KY, Vandy, Miss St and Florida are locks for the NCAA. Frankly I will be surprised if another SEC gets their act together. Earlier this season I was convinced we would get 6 and possibly 7 but not any more.

Arkansas forward Marvell Waithe (22) defends against Tennessee forward Jeronne Maymon (34) as he goes up for a basket during the second half at Thompson-Boling Arena Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2012.  Tennessee won 77-58 over Arkansas.  (ADAM BRIMER/NEWS SENTINEL)

Photo by Adam Brimer, copyright © 2012

Arkansas forward Marvell Waithe (22) defends against Tennessee forward Jeronne Maymon (34) as he goes up for a basket during the second half at Thompson-Boling Arena Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2012. Tennessee won 77-58 over Arkansas. (ADAM BRIMER/NEWS SENTINEL)

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At least 5 SEC teams will make the NCAA basketball tourney, Calipari and Martin predict

  • By Mike Griffith
  • govolsxtra.com
  • Posted February 20, 2012 at 1:32 p.m.

Kentucky coach John Calipari and Tennessee coachCuonzo Martin said Monday they believe the SEC will get at least five teams into the NCAA tournament.

Martin said at his Monday press luncheon that the Vols are one of the teams outside of the SEC’s top five that are “hovering,” after Saturday’s 62-50 loss at Alabama.

Tennessee (14-13, 6-6) plays host to Ole Miss (15-11, 5-7) at 7 p.m. on Wednesday (TV: CSS) at Thompson-Boling Arena before finishing the regular season with games at South Carolina (Saturday), at LSU (Feb. 29) and at home against Vanderbilt (March 3).

“Right now, you’d say on paper maybe five … six (in the NCAA tournament)?” said Martin, whose team is in a four-way tie for fourth. “The guys on paper, Kentucky, Florida, Vanderbilt, Alabama, Mississippi State … there’s five, bona fide, unless someone completely falls on their face.

“You have other teams out there hovering; I think we are. For us, it’s finishing strong down the stretch and winning games in the tournament.”

Calipari said he believes the Vols are one of two SEC teams outside the current top five that are capable of going on a run at the league tournament in New Orleans.

Tennessee forward Jeronne Maymon (34) grabs a rebound during the second half against Arkansas at Thompson-Boling Arena Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2012.  Tennessee won 77-58 over Arkansas.  (ADAM BRIMER/NEWS SENTINEL)

Photo by Adam Brimer, copyright © 2012

Tennessee forward Jeronne Maymon (34) grabs a rebound during the second half against Arkansas at Thompson-Boling Arena Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2012. Tennessee won 77-58 over Arkansas. (ADAM BRIMER/NEWS SENTINEL)

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“I think we’ve got five teams that will be in (the NCAA tournament), and if somebody crazy, one of those other teams wins our tournament, we may have six in,” Calipari said on the SEC teleconference on Monday. “What our league has done nonconference, and playing each other, we’ve got five teams in.

“If someone goes into the tournament and goes on a crazy run, and let me tell you something, the other teams can do that,” he said. “We played Tennessee, ask Florida about Tennessee, ask them. Arkansas, now Arkansas loses a tough game to Florida. They hadn’t lost at home. What if one of those two teams goes on a crazy run and wins the tournament? “They’re capable. Now all the sudden, we’ve got six teams in.”

More details as they develop online and in Tuesday’s News Sentinel

Tennessee forward Jarnell Stokes (5) goes in for a basket as Arkansas forward Hunter Mickelson (21) defends during the second half at Thompson-Boling Arena Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2012.  Tennessee won 77-58 over Arkansas.  (ADAM BRIMER/NEWS SENTINEL)

Photo by Adam Brimer, copyright © 2012

Tennessee forward Jarnell Stokes (5) goes in for a basket as Arkansas forward Hunter Mickelson (21) defends during the second half at Thompson-Boling Arena Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2012. Tennessee won 77-58 over Arkansas. (ADAM BRIMER/NEWS SENTINEL)

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Tennessee forward Jeronne Maymon (34), right, fights for control of the ball during the game against Arkansas at Thompson-Boling Arena Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2012.  Tennessee won 77-58 over Arkansas.  (ADAM BRIMER/NEWS SENTINEL)

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Tennessee forward Jeronne Maymon (34), right, fights for control of the ball during the game against Arkansas at Thompson-Boling Arena Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2012. Tennessee won 77-58 over Arkansas. (ADAM BRIMER/NEWS SENTINEL)

 
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