Jimmy Dykes offers an SEC Tournament preview, names team capable of making Elite 8 run
Alabama is understandably the favorite in next week’s SEC Tournament, but there’s one team who is capable of matching or exceeding the Crimson Tide, and it may be the hottest men’s basketball team in the league.
ESPN analyst Jimmy Dykes explained that Arkansas can make a run in the NCAA Tournament, and is capable of beating all but a handful of teams around the country. Dykes shared those thoughts during a Saturday morning segment on “Marty and McGee” on the SEC Network.
“I believe Alabama and Arkansas are playing better than anyone else in the league, it’s proven out with the conference standings,” Dykes said. “Arkansas’ the hottest team right now. They just knocked off Alabama last week as part of their revenge tour, beat Alabama and LSU back to back. And they sit there in that two seed, looking like a team, to me, right now, that’s more than capable of getting to the Sweet 16, if not the Elite 8.”
Dykes said Arkansas could beat any team in the country except Gonzaga, Baylor, Michigan, maybe Illinois and Iowa.
The six teams projected to make the NCAA Tournament out of the SEC will not change unless a team outside of that group wins next week’s tournament in Nashville. As for Alabama, Dykes said the Crimson Tide have an unbelievable defense that sets them apart from other teams.
One storyline Dykes said he would watch is how Kentucky plays following a historically disappointing regular season. Dykes said the SEC Tournament has been the “Kentucky invitational for years,” but it’s not the case this time.
“It ain’t looking like it this year,” he said. “I know John Calipari’s had his struggles this year, been an uncommon and frustrating year in the Bluegrass, for everyone involved in Kentucky basketball as well as their fans across the country. Can Kentucky go to Nashville and figure out a way to win four in a row? The last time they won four in row to win the SEC Tournament was 1952, I might have missed it by a year. That’s not the situation we see Big Blue Nation in when they roll into the SEC Tournament.”