SEC Men's Basketball Tournament
|SEC Men's Basketball Tournament|
|Conference Basketball Championship|
|Number of teams||14|
|Current stadium||Rotates (Bridgestone Arena in 2015)|
|Current location||Rotates (Nashville, Tennessee in 2015)|
|Played||1933–34, 1936–1952, 1979–present|
|Current champion||Kentucky Wildcats|
|Most championships||Kentucky Wildcats (29)|
|TV partner(s)||ESPN/SEC Network|
|Official website||SECSports.com Men's Basketball|
The SEC Men's Basketball Tournament (sometimes known simply as Kentucky's Tournament) is the conference tournament in basketball for the Southeastern Conference (SEC). It is a single-elimination tournament that involves all league schools (currently 14). Its seeding is based on regular season records. The winner receives the conference's automatic bid to the NCAA men's basketball tournament, however the official conference championship is awarded to the team or teams with the best regular season record.
With the abandonment of divisions in SEC men's basketball starting in 2011–12, the top four teams in the conference standings received first-round byes. Bracketing was identical to that of the SEC Women's Basketball Tournament—note that SEC women's basketball has long been organized in a single league table without divisions.
Since the SEC expanded to 14 schools with the arrival of Missouri and Texas A&M in 2012, the 2013 tournament was the first with a new format. Both men's and women's tournaments have the four bottom seeds (#11 throughout #14) playing opening-round games, with the top four seeds receiving a "double-bye" into the quarterfinals.
Before 2012, the top two teams in both the Eastern and Western Divisions received byes in the first round, while #3 in the East played #6 from the West, #4 played #5, etc. The brackets were set up so that #2 would play the winner of the game involving #3 from the other division, and #1 would play the winner of the game involving #4 from the other division. Barring an upset, the semi-finals would pit #1 from one division against #2 from the other division, and the championship game would feature the regular season winners of the two divisions, although this rarely happened in practice.
Throughout its history, the SEC Championship basketball game has been held at various sites, including the Georgia Dome, Louisiana Superdome, Bridgestone Arena, the BJCC Coliseum, the Pyramid, Rupp Arena, Louisville Gardens and (in an emergency relocation) Alexander Memorial Coliseum at Georgia Tech.
From 1933–50, the SEC Champion was determined by a tournament, except for 1935. Beginning in 1951, a round-robin schedule was introduced and the SEC title was awarded to the team with the highest in-conference winning percentage. From 1951–64, the round-robin consisted of 14 games. In 1965 and 1966, it was expanded to 16 games. From 1967–91, the round-robin schedule was 18 games. In 1992, the SEC split into an Eastern and Western Division but continued to recognize an SEC Champion based on a winning percentage over the new 16-game conference schedule. The league also began awarding division championships. In 1979, the tournament was renewed with the winner receiving the SEC's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament, but the official league champion remained the team(s) with the best regular season record.
In 2000, the Arkansas Razorbacks became the first team since the league expansion in 1992 to win the conference tournament by playing all four days, beating Georgia, Kentucky, LSU and Auburn to receive the conference's automatic bid to the NCAA Basketball Championships. Since then, the feat has been accomplished twice, first in 2008 by Georgia. In 2009, Mississippi State repeated that feat, defeating Georgia, South Carolina, LSU and Tennessee to receive the conference's automatic bid to the NCAA Basketball Championships.
The first seven games of the 2008 Men's Tournament were played at the Georgia Dome. During overtime of Game 7 between Mississippi State and Alabama, a tornado struck the downtown Atlanta area, damaging the Georgia Dome and several buildings surrounding it, including CNN Center. MSU and Alabama returned after a 64-minute delay to finish their game, but the last quarterfinal game of the day, between Georgia and Kentucky, was postponed until the next day, and the remaining four games of the tournament were moved to Alexander Memorial Coliseum at Georgia Tech. Only credentialed individuals were allowed to attend, including players' families, bands, cheerleaders, and media. No other spectators were allowed in the building.
|1933||Kentucky||46–27||Mississippi State||None||Atlanta Athletic Club (Atlanta)|
|1934||Alabama||41–25||Florida||None||Atlanta Athletic Club (Atlanta)|
|1936||Tennessee||41–25||Alabama||None||Alumni Memorial Gym (Knoxville, Tennessee)|
|1937||Kentucky||39–25||Tennessee||None||Alumni Memorial Gym (Knoxville, Tennessee)|
|1938||Georgia Tech||58–47||Mississippi||None||Huey Long Field House (Baton Rouge, Louisiana)|
|1939||Kentucky||46–38||Tennessee||None||Alumni Memorial Gym (Knoxville, Tennessee)|
|1940||Kentucky||51–43||Georgia||None||Alumni Memorial Gym (Knoxville, Tennessee)|
|1941||Tennessee||36–33||Kentucky||None||Louisville Gardens (Louisville, Kentucky)|
|1942||Kentucky||36–34||Alabama||None||Louisville Gardens (Louisville, Kentucky)|
|1943||Tennessee||33–30||Kentucky||None||Louisville Gardens (Louisville, Kentucky)|
|1944||Kentucky||62–46||Tulane||None||Louisville Gardens (Louisville, Kentucky)|
|1945||Kentucky||39–35||Tennessee||None||Louisville Gardens (Louisville, Kentucky)|
|1946||Kentucky||59–36||LSU||None||Louisville Gardens (Louisville, Kentucky)|
|1947||Kentucky||55–38||Tulane||None||Louisville Gardens (Louisville, Kentucky)|
|1948||Kentucky||54–43||Georgia Tech||None||Louisville Gardens (Louisville, Kentucky)|
|1949||Kentucky||68–52||Tulane||None||Louisville Gardens (Louisville, Kentucky)|
|1950||Kentucky||95–58||Tennessee||None||Louisville Gardens (Louisville, Kentucky)|
|1951||Vanderbilt||61–57||Kentucky||None||Louisville Gardens (Louisville, Kentucky)|
|1952||Kentucky||44–43||LSU||None||Louisville Gardens (Louisville, Kentucky)|
|1979||Tennessee||75–69OT||Kentucky||Kyle Macy, UK||BJCC Coliseum (Birmingham, Alabama)|
|1980||LSU||80–78||Kentucky||DeWayne Scales, LSU||BJCC Coliseum (Birmingham, Alabama)|
|1981||Mississippi||66–62||Georgia||Dominique Wilkins, UGA||BJCC Coliseum (Birmingham, Alabama)|
|1982||Alabama||48–46||Kentucky||Dirk Minniefield, UK||Rupp Arena (Lexington, Kentucky)|
|1983||Georgia||86–71||Alabama||Vern Fleming, UGA||BJCC Coliseum (Birmingham, Alabama)|
|1984||Kentucky||51–49||Auburn||Charles Barkley, AUB||Memorial Gymnasium (Nashville, Tennessee)|
|1985||Auburn||53–49OT||Alabama||Chuck Person, AUB||BJCC Coliseum (Birmingham, Alabama)|
|1986||Kentucky||83–72||Alabama||John Williams, LSU||Rupp Arena (Lexington, Kentucky)|
|1987||Alabama||69–62||LSU||Derrick McKey, ALA||Omni Coliseum (Atlanta)|
|1988||Kentucky||62–57||Georgia||Rex Chapman, UK||Pete Maravich Assembly Center (Baton Rouge, Louisiana)|
|1989||Alabama||72–60||Florida||Livingston Chatman, UF||Thompson–Boling Arena (Knoxville, Tennessee)|
|1990||Alabama||70–51||Mississippi||Melvin Cheatum, ALA||Orlando Arena (Orlando, Florida)|
|1991||Alabama||88–69||Tennessee||Allan Houston, UT||Memorial Gymnasium (Nashville, Tennessee)|
|1992||Kentucky||80–54||Alabama||Jamal Mashburn, UK||BJCC Coliseum (Birmingham, Alabama)|
|1993||Kentucky||82–65||LSU||Travis Ford, UK||Rupp Arena (Lexington, Kentucky)|
|1994||Kentucky||73–60||Florida||Travis Ford, UK||The Pyramid (Memphis, Tennessee)|
|1995||Kentucky||95–93OT||Arkansas||Antoine Walker, UK||Georgia Dome (Atlanta)|
|1996||Mississippi State||84–73||Kentucky||Dontae' Jones, MSU||Louisiana Superdome (New Orleans)|
|1997||Kentucky||95–68||Georgia||Ron Mercer, UK||The Pyramid (Memphis, Tennessee)|
|1998||Kentucky||86–56||South Carolina||Wayne Turner, UK||Georgia Dome (Atlanta)|
|1999||Kentucky||76–63||Arkansas||Scott Padgett, UK||Georgia Dome (Atlanta)|
|2000||Arkansas||75–67||Auburn||Brandon Dean, ARK||Georgia Dome (Atlanta)|
|2001||Kentucky||77–55||Mississippi||Tayshaun Prince, UK||Gaylord Entertainment Center (Nashville, Tennessee)|
|2002||Mississippi State||61–58||Alabama||Mario Austin, MSU||Georgia Dome (Atlanta)|
|2003||Kentucky||64–57||Mississippi State||Keith Bogans, UK||Louisiana Superdome (New Orleans)|
|2004||Kentucky||89–73||Florida||Gerald Fitch, UK||Georgia Dome (Atlanta)|
|2005||Florida||70–53||Kentucky||Matt Walsh, UF||Georgia Dome (Atlanta)|
|2006||Florida||49–47||South Carolina||Taurean Green, UF||Gaylord Entertainment Center (Nashville, Tennessee)|
|2007||Florida||77–56||Arkansas||Al Horford, UF||Georgia Dome (Atlanta)|
|2008||Georgia||66–57||Arkansas||Sundiata Gaines, UGA||Georgia Dome/Alexander Memorial Coliseum (Atlanta)|
|2009||Mississippi State||64–61||Tennessee||Jarvis Varnado, MSU||St. Pete Times Forum (Tampa, Florida)|
|2010||Kentucky||75–74OT||Mississippi State||John Wall, UK||Bridgestone Arena (Nashville, Tennessee)|
|2011||Kentucky||70–54||Florida||Darius Miller, UK||Georgia Dome (Atlanta)|
|2012||Vanderbilt||71–64||Kentucky||John Jenkins, VAN||New Orleans Arena (New Orleans)|
|2013||Mississippi||66–63||Florida||Marshall Henderson, MISS||Bridgestone Arena (Nashville, Tennessee)|
|2014||Florida||61–60||Kentucky||Scottie Wilbekin, UF||Georgia Dome (Atlanta)|
|2015||Kentucky||78–63||Arkansas||Willie Cauley-Stein, UK||Bridgestone Arena (Nashville, Tennessee)|
|2016||Kentucky||82–77OT||Texas A&M||Tyler Ulis, UK||Bridgestone Arena (Nashville, Tennessee)|
|2017||Bridgestone Arena (Nashville, Tennessee)|
|2018||Scottrade Center (St. Louis, Missouri)|
|2019||Bridgestone Arena (Nashville, Tennessee)|
|2020||Bridgestone Arena (Nashville, Tennessee)|
|2021||Bridgestone Arena (Nashville, Tennessee)|
|2022||Amalie Arena (Tampa, Florida)|
|2023||Bridgestone Arena (Nashville, Tennessee)|
|2024||Bridgestone Arena (Nashville, Tennessee)|
|2025||Bridgestone Arena (Nashville, Tennessee)|
Note A: No tournament was held in 1935.
Note B: No tournament was held from 1953–1978.
Note C: No MVP Selection made from 1933–1952.
Tournament championships by school
|School||# of Tournament Championships||Last Tournament Championship|
- †Former member of the SEC
- Kentucky defeated Georgia in the 1988 SEC Tournament final, but the tournament title was vacated later because of NCAA violations.
- The Georgia Dome hosted the 2008 SEC Tournament, but became uninhabitable after a tornado in downtown Atlanta. The semifinals and finals were played at Hank McCamish Pavilion, then known as Alexander Memorial Coliseum.
- Legacy Arena was known as the BJCC Coliseum (or, more completely, the "Birmingham–Jefferson Convention Complex Coliseum") when it hosted all of its tournaments. It was later known as the BJCC Arena, but did not host an SEC Tournament under that name.
- Bridgestone Arena was known as the Gaylord Entertainment Center when it hosted the 2001 and 2006 tournaments. It was also previously known as Sommet Center and Nashville Arena, but never hosted an SEC Men's Tournament under either name. (It hosted the SEC Women's Tournament in 2008 as Sommet Center.)
- In the 1930s, the Atlanta Athletic Club owned two properties—a building in downtown Atlanta which hosted the 1933 and 1934 tournaments, and a golf course at the eastern edge of the city. The club sold both properties in 1967 and moved to its current site in what is now Johns Creek, Georgia.
- The Mercedes-Benz Superdome was previously known as the Louisiana Superdome.
- "The Pyramid" has never been the official name of this venue, but it has been the standard local name since its opening in 1991. In order, it has officially been known as the Great American Pyramid, Pyramid Arena, and the Memphis Pyramid.
- Amalie Arena was known as the St. Pete Times Forum when it hosted the 2009 tournament. It was originally known as the Ice Palace, and was later known as Tampa Bay Times Forum, but never hosted an SEC Tournament under either name.
- The Smoothie King Center was known as New Orleans Arena when it hosted the 2012 tournament.
- The Scottrade Center has yet to host a tournament, but has been announced as the 2018 host. It was previously known as Kiel Center and Savvis Center.
- "Through the Years: SEC Champions" (PDF). 2012–13 SEC Men's Basketball Media Guide. Southeastern Conference. p. 67. Retrieved May 16, 2013.
Since 1951, when the round-robin schedule was introduced, the title has been decided by a winning percentage on the conference schedule.
- "Destin Recap: Day Two" (Press release). Southeastern Conference. June 1, 2011. Retrieved June 3, 2011.
- SEC Men's Basketball Tournament History
- Unofficial Result. Kentucky defeated Georgia in the tournament final, but the championship was vacated later because of NCAA violations.
- 2008 SEC Men's Basketball Tournament#Game delays and relocation
- Because of a tornado that struck the Atlanta area, the Georgia Dome was declared unsafe to finish the tournament midway through Friday's session. The fourth quarterfinal, semifinals, and final were moved to Alexander Memorial Coliseum with only a few hundred spectators permitted at each game."
- Kentucky defeated Georgia in the 1988 SEC Tournament final, but the tournament title was vacated later because of NCAA violations.