The dust has settled on yet another amazing regular season in the Southeastern Conference baseball world. The road to Hoover has become clear and the action gets started on Tuesday morning.
Ole Miss won the west outright, edging out the Arkansas Razorbacks due to the early season series win over the Razorbacks. Ole Miss will await the winner of Kentucky and Auburn who play Tuesday at 1pm. Ole Miss swept Auburn this season and did not play Kentucky. Ole Miss will be the two seed after wrapping up the west.
SEC regular-season champion the Florida Gators are coming into Hoover riding a three-game losing at the hands of the Mississippi State Bulldogs. The series loss this past weekend snapped an impressive nineteen series streak dating back to the previous season. Florida will face the winner of the eight and nine-game between Mississippi State and LSU.
One major storyline to watch with this SEC Tournament is how both Mississippi schools will fare within in this Tournament. Mississippi State, for instance, is coming off a massive sweep of the Florida Gators where the Bulldogs scored thirty-one runs to outscore the Gators 31-13 on the weekend. On the other end, the Ole Miss Rebels are coming into Hoover securing the number two seed and the SEC West outright over the Arkansas Razorbacks. Both Mississippi schools will be playing on opposite sides of the bracket with the chances of meeting each other in the Championship round on Sunday. Ole Miss and Mississippi State alike are playing their best ball of the season and will look to push the momentum into this week at Hoover.
Teams like Georgia, Auburn, and Arkansas are playing with something to prove this weekend as those three teams are battling for a top sixteen seed in the upcoming NCAA Tournament. Georgia and Arkansas both have first-round byes in the SEC Tournament which is a huge boost to have a chance at hosting. Auburn will face Kentucky on Tuesday with the chance of facing Ole Miss on Wednesday. In order to secure a top sixteen seed, each of these teams need to win at least one game in Hoover.
Vanderbilt is coming into the Tournament desperately needing a win in the SEC to secure a birth in the NCAA Tournament. Coach Corbin’s team has been very inconsistent battling iffy pitching and not getting crucial hits that the Commodores have needed all season. Vanderbilt, however, will be coming into Hoover following a massive sweep over the Kentucky Wildcats at Hawkins Field over the weekend. Vanderbilt will face Texas A&M on Tuesday at 9:30 on the SEC Network.
With ten out of the twelve teams projected in the NCAA Tournament, this week in Hoover is bound to bring excitement and high flying baseball action. The Tournament is as wide open as ever seen before with each team playing at such a high caliber. SEC fans have plenty to be excited about heading into the week.
The action will begin on Tuesday and carry on through to Sunday. Tuesday through Saturday can be seen on the SEC Network before moving to ESPN2 for the Championship game on Sunday.
Prediction for the Tournament:
Ole Miss over Mississippi State in the SEC Championship game.