NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Kentucky men’s basketball team will be the No. 2 seed in the annual Southeastern Conference Tournament when action begins Wednesday in Nashville, Tennessee. The Wildcats, who earned the coveted double bye (automatically advancing to the quarterfinals), will play the winner of No. 7 seed Ole Miss vs. No. 10 seed Alabama on Friday in St. Louis at approximately 7 p.m. ET in the quarterfinals.
Kentucky completed its 2018-19 regular season on Saturday with a 66-57 victory over Florida to finish at 26-5 and 15-3 in the SEC. UK finished in a tie for second place with Tennessee, just a game behind LSU for the regular-season championship.
The Wildcats are seeking their fifth straight SEC Tournament championship and seventh in John Calipari’s 10 seasons at Kentucky.
UK will need two wins to advance to their ninth SEC Tournament title game in the last 10 seasons. The Wildcats have earned a double bye in every season since it went into effect in 2013.
The tournament could be wide open after a highly competitive and tightly bunched regular season among the league’s teams. As many as eight teams are projected to get into the NCAA Tournament with several schools looking to strengthen their postseason profile for an at-large berth.
UK’s quarterfinal SEC Tournament game will be televised by the SEC Network. If Kentucky wins Friday, it would play Saturday at approximately 3:25 p.m. ET. Sunday’s championship game is scheduled for 1 p.m. ET. Both the semifinals and championship game will be televised on ESPN.
Kentucky leads the league with 31 SEC Tournament titles. The Wildcats are 133-25 all-time in the SEC Tournament, including 44-11 in the quarterfinals.
UK defeated Ole Miss on Tuesday, 80-76, in Oxford, Mississippi, in the lone meeting this season between the two schools. The Wildcats are 15-0 all-time vs. Ole Miss in the SEC Tournament, including 6-0 in the quarterfinals.
If Kentucky faces Alabama, it would be the fourth straight season the Wildcats have faced the Crimson Tide in the SEC Tournament. UK has won all three of the previous matchups and is 16-2 vs. Alabama in the league tournament and is 5-1 in the quarterfinals. But, Alabama won the lone regular-season meeting back on Jan. 5 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, 77-75.
Also on Kentucky’s side of the bracket is No. 3 seed Tennessee, No. 6 seed Mississippi State, No. 11 seed Texas A&M and No. 14 seed Vanderbilt.
The tournament returns to Bridgestone Arena in Nashville for the fourth time in the last five seasons after a pit stop in St. Louis last season. UK has won the SEC Tournament the last three times it has been in Nashville and four times under Calipari.