2008 SEC Men's Basketball Tournament

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
2008 SEC Men's Basketball Tournament
2008 Tournament logo
Classification Division I
Season 2007–08
Teams 12
Site Georgia Dome and
Alexander Memorial Coliseum (due to March 14 tornado)
Atlanta, Georgia
Champions Georgia (2nd title)
Winning coach Dennis Felton (1st title)
MVP Sundiata Gaines[1] (Georgia)
Top scorer Sundiata Gaines[1] (Georgia)
(69 points)
Television Raycom/LF Sports, CBS, ESPN2
← 2007
2009 →

The 2008 SEC Men's Basketball Tournament took place on March 13–16, 2008 in Atlanta, Georgia. The first, quarterfinal, and semifinal rounds were televised by Raycom/LF Sports, and the SEC Championship Game was produced by CBS and televised by ESPN2. The University of Georgia, the improbable winner of the tournament, earned the Southeastern Conference's automatic bid to the 2008 NCAA Tournament.

The tournament was originally scheduled to be played at the Georgia Dome, but a tornado struck downtown Atlanta on the night of March 14, while the third of four quarterfinal games was in overtime. While that game was completed, SEC officials decided not to risk playing the fourth game, between the University of Kentucky and University of Georgia.[2] That quarterfinal was subsequently postponed until Saturday morning. That game and all subsequent games were played at Alexander Memorial Coliseum on the campus of Georgia Tech, a school in the Atlantic Coast Conference (and coincidentally a former SEC member). Due to the smaller capacity, only the players' families, credentialed media, school officials and 400 fans from each school were allowed to attend the rest of the tournament.[3]

Georgia, which had a sub-.500 record going into the tournament and had to win the title to secure an NCAA Tournament bid, was forced to play and win three games in the space of 30 hours, including two games on Saturday — the original quarterfinal game against Kentucky that was postponed by the tornado and venue change, and the subsequent semifinal game. Coincidentally, Georgia won the SEC tournament championship on the home court of its bitter rival, Georgia Tech. This was Georgia's first SEC men's basketball tournament championship since 1983.

Final SEC Regular Season Standings and Awards[edit]


SEC East
School Coach W L Seed
Tennessee Bruce Pearl 14 2 E1
Kentucky Billy Gillispie 12 4 E2
Vanderbilt Kevin Stallings 10 6 E3
Florida Billy Donovan 8 8 E4
South Carolina Dave Odom 5 11 E5
Georgia Dennis Felton 4 12 E6
SEC West
School Coach W L Seed
Mississippi State Rick Stansbury 12 4 W1
Arkansas John Pelphrey 9 7 W2
Mississippi Andy Kennedy 7 9 W3
LSU John Brady (fired Feb. 7)
Butch Pierre (interim)
6 10 W4
Alabama Mark Gottfried 5 11 W5
Auburn Jeff Lebo 4 12 W6


  First round
March 13
Second round
March 14, 15 †
March 15
SEC Championship Game
March 16 ‡
W4 LSU 73  
E5 South Carolina 77  
  E1 Tennessee 89  
    E5 South Carolina 87  
  E1 Tennessee 91  
  W2 Arkansas 92  
  W2 Arkansas 81
    E3 Vanderbilt 75  
E3 Vanderbilt 93
W6 Auburn 82  
  W2 Arkansas 57
  E6 Georgia 66
E4 Florida 69  
W5 Alabama 80  
  W1 Mississippi State 69*
    W5 Alabama 67  
  W1 Mississippi State 60
  E6 Georgia 64  
  E2 Kentucky 56
    E6 Georgia 60*  
W3 Ole Miss 95
E6 Georgia 97*  

* Denotes game ended in overtime.
† Game originally scheduled for 9:45 p.m. the day before. Postponed due to tornado.
‡ - Game was originally to have been telecast on CBS.

All-Tournament Team[edit]

Sundiata Gaines, Georgia (Most Valuable Player)
Terrance Woodbury, Georgia
Charles Thomas, Arkansas
Darian Townes, Arkansas
Mykal Riley, Alabama

Game delays and relocation[edit]

A hiatus in the Alabama vs. Mississippi State quarterfinal on March 14, 2008. The team returned to the court at 10:30 p.m. the same night, and Mississippi State defeated Alabama 69–67 in overtime.

During overtime of the Friday night quarterfinal between Mississippi State and Alabama, a tornado hit the Georgia Dome at 9:40 p.m.[4] The National Weather Service had issued a tornado warning at 9:26 p.m., because radar indicated a thunderstorm capable of producing a tornado.[5] The storm tore open a panel on the north side of the dome; sheared bolts and insulation fell into the arena. After the storm passed, the teams returned to the court at 10:30 and completed the game.[4]

The Kentucky–Georgia basketball game, originally scheduled for Friday night, was postponed.[6] It was rescheduled for Saturday at noon. Due to the severe damage suffered at the Georgia Dome, the remainder of the tournament was moved to Georgia Tech's Alexander Memorial Coliseum. The semifinals began at 6:00pm Saturday in Alexander Memorial Coliseum. Because the games were moved to a significantly smaller arena, only players' families & friends, bands, cheerleaders, and persons with working credentials were admitted.[7][8] The SEC looked at several possible scenarios; one specifically mentioned by media involved playing only the Kentucky-Georgia game on Saturday, playing both semifinals on Sunday, and declaring the semifinal winners co-champions. However, tournament officials were told by the NCAA tournament selection committee (which included SEC commissioner Michael Slive) that it had to finish the tournament in order to preserve the league's automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.[8]

The championship game was originally slated to be televised by CBS but was bumped to ESPN2 after the SEC opted to move the tip time to 3:30 p.m. (EDT). The move to ESPN2 was because CBS televised the Big Ten tournament final at 3:30 p.m. However, CBS still produced the game, with announcers Verne Lundquist and Bill Raftery calling the game. All CBS affiliates in the finalists' home markets also carried the game.[9]


  1. ^ a b "Georgia Wins SEC Men's Basketball Tournament". 2008-03-16. Archived from the original on March 20, 2008. Retrieved 2008-03-16. 
  2. ^ newsobserver.com | Georgia Tech hosting SEC Tournament
  3. ^ ESPN - Georgia wins thriller over UK, but rare doubleheader peeves Felton - Men's College Basketball
  4. ^ a b Towers, Chip; Mike Knobler & Jeff Schultz (March 14, 2008). "Storm damages Ga. Dome, delays SEC game". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Archived from the original on May 10, 2008. Retrieved 2008-03-15. 
  5. ^ Schlabach, Mark (March 14, 2008). "SEC tournament delayed as Georgia Dome sustains damage". ESPN.com. Archived from the original on 19 March 2008. Retrieved 2008-03-15. 
  6. ^ "UGA game postponed until Saturday". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. March 14, 2008. Archived from the original on December 1, 2008. Retrieved 2008-03-15. 
  7. ^ Towers, Chip (March 14, 2008). "Dogs play at noon Saturday at Georgia Tech". Archived from the original on December 1, 2008. Retrieved 2008-03-15. 
  8. ^ a b Katz, Andy (2008-03-15). "Storm forces SEC tournament move, unusual twinbill". ESPN.com. Archived from the original on 19 March 2008. Retrieved 2008-03-15. 
  9. ^ ESPN - After tornado delays tourney, SEC title game changing TV networks - Men's College Basketball

External links[edit]