ESPN's Joe Lunardi believes Kentucky will win the SEC Tournament

On3 imageby:Zack Geoghegan03/04/24


Joe Lunardi is looking to get on the Big Blue Nation’s good side ahead of the SEC Tournament.

On Monday morning, ESPN’s Jeff Borzello, John Gasaway, Myron Medcalf, and Lunardi provided their predictions for all 32 Division I men’s basketball conference tournaments, which begin this week. And while the first three all went with the Tennessee Volunteers as their choice to win the Southeastern Conference’s version, Lunardi was the lone outlier.

His choice? The Kentucky Wildcats.

“Color me captivated by Kentucky’s recent offensive explosion,” Lunardi wrote. “Keep this up and the Wildcats might not lose another game. It also strikes me as the perfect ‘Why not us?’ formula for postseason play. The SEC tourney would be my first choice as a ticket buyer, so I’m going with the best show in town.”

I wouldn’t classify it as a “recent” offensive explosion — Kentucky has been scoring 90-plus on a regular basis since the season began — but Lunardi is right that the Wildcats know how to put on a show. It might not include much defense, but it sure as hell will feature a lot of points from an exciting group of freshmen and an All-American candidate in Antonio Reeves. UK is currently third in the nation with an average of 89.6 points per game and first in three-point shooting at 40.8 percent.

The 2024 SEC Tournament begins in Nashville on Wednesday, March 13, and ends with the championship on Sunday, March 17. As of Monday afternoon, Kentucky is 11-5 in the SEC and would earn the No. 4 seed (and the double-bye that comes with it) if the regular season were to end today. The ‘Cats have two games left (vs. Vanderbilt, @ Tennessee) before heading into the postseason.

Kentucky isn’t the only school from the Bluegrass being picked to win its conference tournament though. The ESPN panel unanimously chose Morehead State (23-8; 14-4) to win the Ohio Valley Conference while Borzello and Medcalf went with Eastern Kentucky (17-14; 12-4) to win the Atlantic Sun Conference.

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