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Kentucky Begins SEC Tournament as No. 3 Seed on Friday

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Wildcats will begin their quest for a 32nd SEC Tournament title on Friday at 8 p.m. ET


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TAMPA, Fla. – The Kentucky men’s basketball team will be the No. 3 seed in the annual Southeastern Conference Tournament when action begins Wednesday in Tampa, Florida. The Wildcats, who earned the coveted double bye (automatically advancing to the quarterfinals), will play the winner between Alabama and the winner of 14-seeded Georgia and 11-seeded Vanderbilt, on Friday in Tampa at approximately 8 p.m. ET.

Kentucky completed its 2021-22 regular season on Saturday with its fourth straight win in Gainesville, Florida, over the Gators to finish 25-6 and 14-4 in the SEC. UK won 25 regular-season games for the 39th time in program history and the 11th in 13 seasons under John Calipari. 

The Wildcats are seeking their seventh SEC Tournament championship under Calipari and 32nd overall. UK will need two wins to advance to its ninth SEC Tournament title game in the last 13 seasons.

The tournament could be wide open after a highly competitive and tightly bunched regular season among the league’s teams. After placing 21 teams in the NCAA Tournament the last three seasons, the league has a number of teams vying for at-large berths heading into the conference finale.

UK’s quarterfinal SEC Tournament game will be televised by SEC Network with Tom Hart, Dane Bradshaw and Alyssa Lang on the call. If Kentucky wins Friday, it would play Saturday at 3 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 with Karl Ravech, Jimmy Dykes and Marty Smith calling the action.

Kentucky leads the league with 31 SEC Tournament titles, more than the rest of the league combined (29). The Wildcats are 134-27 all-time in the SEC Tournament, including 45-11 in the quarterfinals.

Calipari’s teams at UMass, Memphis and Kentucky have been to 19 conference championship games in his 28-year career, winning a remarkable 15 of them. Calipari is 57-13 (.814) all-time in conference tournaments, including 23-5 (.821) at UK. Calipari ranks fourth in SEC Tournament wins.

The Wildcats are 17-2 all-time against Alabama in the SEC Tournament and 6-1 against the Tide in quarterfinals matchups. Kentucky and Alabama last met in the quarterfinals in 2019, with UK winning 73-55. Kentucky won both meetings with Alabama this season.

Kentucky is 12-1 all-time against Georgia in the SEC Tournament and 4-5 against Vanderbilt. UK was 3-0 against the teams during the regular season, winning against Georgia at home and sweeping the Commodores in two matchups. UK is 6-1 against the Bulldogs in quarterfinals matchups and 3-2 against Vanderbilt.

Also on Kentucky’s side of the bracket is No. 2 seed Tennessee, No. 7 seed South Carolina and No. 10 seed Mississippi State.

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