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Tennessee and Kentucky win big, will meet for SEC Tournament title

By Matt Bonesteel

March 10, 2018 at 5:55 PM

Tennessee’s Lamonte Turner heads to the basket past Arkansas’ C.J. Jones (23) during the Volunteers’ win in the semifinals of the SEC Tournament on Saturday. (Jeff Roberson/AP/)

The Southeastern Conference men’s basketball tournament continues with Friday’s quarterfinals at Scottrade Center in St. Louis. Here’s the full bracket with start times and broadcast information. And keep up with the ACCBig 12 and Big East tournaments, which are also ongoing.

Related: [Why isn’t the NCAA tournament selection show on CBS? Where did it go?]

All times listed below are Eastern.

SEMIFINALS

Game 11: No. 4 seed Kentucky 86, No. 9 seed Alabama 63

Skinny: Wenyen Gabriel shot 7-for-7 on threes and matched his career high with 23 points, sending Kentucky past Alabama.

“I think I was in the zone after probably my third 3,” Gabriel said. “I’ve had a game like that before. Obviously, not in a Kentucky uniform yet. That was great to have one of these today for my confidence going forward.”

Kentucky shot 64 percent from the field, up from its 42.6 percent clip against Georgia on Friday and its season average of 46.5. The Wildcats dominated on the defensive end as well, using its unmatched length to body up ninth-seeded Alabama (19-15) all game. — Associated Press

Game 12: No. 2 seed Tennessee 84, No. 6 seed Arkansas 66

Skinny: Jordan Bone scored 19 points to help spark a hot-shooting first half for No. 13 Tennessee in a win over Arkansas.

The win is the sixth straight and 13th in the last 15 games for the second-seeded Volunteers (25-7), who will try to win their first SEC Tournament championship in almost 40 years when they face Kentucky on Sunday.

Bone scored 17 of his points in the first half, hitting 7 of 7 from the field and all three of his 3-point attempts. The sophomore finished 8 of 11 from the field and hit the three three-pointers — part of an 11-of-17 shooting effort from behind the arc for Tennessee. — Associated Press

CHAMPIONSHIP

No. 4 seed Kentucky (23-10, 10-8) vs. No. 2 seed Tennessee (25-7, 13-5)

When: Sunday, 1 p.m., ESPN.

QUARTERFINALS

Game 7: No. 9 seed Alabama 81, No. 1 Auburn 63

Skinny: Collin Sexton scored 31 points and Alabama used a strong second half to defeat 16th-ranked Auburn, 81-63, Friday in the tournament quarterfinals. The Crimson Tide trailed by 10 at halftime but started the second half on a 28-3 run. The stretch was keyed by three consecutive three-pointers by Sexton. Alabama’s surge put the Tigers away early in the half, and the Crimson Tide (19-14) outscored Auburn 50-22 after the break. Mustapha Heron led Auburn (25-7) with 18 points, 11 of which came in the first half. Desean Murray scored 15 points, all in the first half. The Tigers have lost four of their last six games, as their potential NCAA tournament seeding continues to drop. — Associated Press

Game 8: No. 4 seed Kentucky 62, No. 12 Georgia 49

Skinny: PJ Washington scored 18 points to help send Kentucky to the semifinals of the Southeastern Conference Tournament with a 62-49 victory over Georgia on Friday. The fourth-seeded Wildcats (22-10), who have won the last three tournament championships and 30 titles overall, advanced to face Alabama on Saturday. The 6-foot-7 Washington scored 11 of his points in the second half and finished 8 of 12 from the field. Kevin Knox and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander each added 15 points in the victory, which was Kentucky’s fifth in its last six games following a four-game losing streak. — Associated Press

Game 9: No. 2 seed Tennessee 62, No. 7 Mississippi State 59

Skinny: Lamonte turner scored 15 points and No. 13 Tennessee locked down on defense to beat Mississippi State 62-59 in the quarterfinals of the Southeastern Conference tournament on Friday night. The second-seeded Volunteers (24-7) led nearly the entire game, but the Bulldogs (22-11) had an opportunity to take the lead in the final 10 seconds. Down 61-59, Xavian Stapleton missed a three-pointer that would have put the Bulldogs ahead. — Associated Press

Game 10: No. 6 Arkansas 80, No. 3 Florida 72

Skinny: Jaylen Barford scored 27 points and matched his career high with 10 rebounds to help send Arkansas past No. 23 Florida on Friday night. The win ends an eight-game losing streak to the Gators for the sixth-seeded Razorbacks (23-10), who are now 5-1 against ranked opponents this season and advance to face No. 13 Tennessee on Saturday.

SECOND ROUND (Thursday, March 8)

Game 3: No. 9 seed Alabama 71, No. 8 Texas A&M 70

Skinny: Collin Sexton drove the length of the court in the final seconds and hit a floater at the buzzer to give ninth-seeded Alabama (18-14) a 71-70 win over Texas A&M; on Thursday. He did so just moments after T.J. Starks hit a three-pointer to put the Aggies up 70-69 with 4.4 seconds remaining, taking the inbounds pass following a timeout and racing up the court for the game-winner. — Associated Press

Game 4: No. 12 seed Georgia 62, No. 5 Missouri 60

Skinny: Yante Maten scored 21 points and grabbed 10 rebounds and Georgia spoiled the return of heralded freshman Michael Porter Jr. with a in a 62-60 victory over Missouri in the second round of the Southeastern Conference Tournament on Thursday. Georgia, the 12th seed, led throughout the second half, but fifth-seeded Missouri narrowed the Bulldogs’ lead to just two points with seven seconds left. The Tigers drew up a play for their leading scorer, Kassius Robertson. But Robertson’s three-point attempt went long and Georgia secured the victory. –Associated Press

Game 5: No. 7 seed Mississippi State 80, No. 10 LSU 77

Skinny: Lamar Peters scored 24 points and Mississippi State hit 10 3-pointers in defeating LSU 80-77 in the second round of the Southeastern Conference Tournament on Thursday. Leading by seven with 34 seconds left, the Bulldogs allowed the Tigers to hit two consecutive 3s to close to 78-77. But with nine seconds to play, Mississippi State inbounded the ball, avoided foul attempts and escaped with victory after Nick Weatherspoon’s dunk. — Associated Press

Game 6: No. 6 seed Arkansas 69 vs. No. 11 South Carolina 64

Skinny: Jaylen Barford scored 13 of his 17 points in the second half to help Arkansas hold off South Carolina. The win is the seventh in the last nine games for the sixth-seeded Razorbacks (22-10), who advance to face No. 3 seed Florida on Friday night. Barford, a first-team All-SEC selection, was 6 of 11 from the field and had a key three-pointer and fast-break layup in the closing minutes. Daryl Macon added 12 points for Arkansas, hitting 8 of 8 free throws, including two in the final minute that helped seal the win. — Associated Press

FIRST ROUND (Wednesday, March 7)

Game 1: No. 12 Georgia 78, No. 13 Vanderbilt 62

Skinny: Yante Maten scored 25 points to lead the Bulldogs past the Commodores in the opening round of the Southeastern Conference tournament on Wednesday night. Maten, the Associated Press SEC player of the year, was 9 of 12 from the field for Georgia (17-14). The 6-foot-8 senior has scored in double figures in all but one game this season for Georgia, which led throughout and advanced to face No. 5 seed Missouri in the second round on Thursday. — Associated Press

Game 2: No. 11 South Carolina 85, No. 14 Ole Miss 84

Skinny: Chris Silva had 21 points and 11 rebounds, and the Gamecocks rallied from five points down in the second half to defeat the Rebels in their opening round game Wednesday night. Silva was one of five players to score in double figures for South Carolina (17-15), which likely need to win the tournament to have any hope of earning a berth to the NCAA tournament — where they reached the Final Four last season.

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Matt Bonesteel spent the first 17 years of his Washington Post career writing and editing. In 2014, Bonesteel pivoted from the newspaper to online and now he blogs for the Early Lead and other Web-based products owned by The Post.

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Early Lead

Tennessee and Kentucky win big, will meet for SEC Tournament title

By Matt Bonesteel

March 10, 2018 at 5:55 PM

Tennessee’s Lamonte Turner heads to the basket past Arkansas’ C.J. Jones (23) during the Volunteers’ win in the semifinals of the SEC Tournament on Saturday. (Jeff Roberson/AP/)

The Southeastern Conference men’s basketball tournament continues with Friday’s quarterfinals at Scottrade Center in St. Louis. Here’s the full bracket with start times and broadcast information. And keep up with the ACCBig 12 and Big East tournaments, which are also ongoing.

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