The obvious question: Can the Big Orange break the three-decade drought and claim the trophy this week at Nashville's Bridgestone Arena? Maybe. But I wouldn't bet the house on it.
Here's how I see the tournament unfolding:
ROUND 1 GAMES (Thursday, March 11)
- South Carolina beats Alabama: Devan Downey is the difference.
- Tennessee beats LSU: Vols put Tigers out of their misery.
- Florida beats Auburn: Gators finally lock up an NCAA bid.
- Arkansas beats Georgia: Dawgs were 0-8 in SEC road games.
ROUND 2 GAMES (Friday, March 12)
- Kentucky beats South Carolina: Cats already lost to Cocks once.
- Tennessee beats Ole Miss: Rebs always give UT trouble, though.
- Florida beats Mississippi State: Bulldogs won't be repeating in 2010.
- Vanderbilt beats Arkansas: Dores have way too many weapons.
SEMIFINAL GAMES (Saturday, March 13)
- Tennessee beats Kentucky: Vols desperate to end 30-year drought.
- Vanderbilt beats Florida: Commodores don't lose often in Nashville.
CHAMPIONSHIP GAME (Sunday, March 14)
- Vanderbilt beats Tennessee: It's awfully difficult to beat a team three times in one season, and Vandy already whipped Tennessee twice. Still, the Dores are playing in their hometown and are a matchup nightmare for UT. Meanwhile, the Vols are playing their fourth game in four days.