Kentucky basketball couldn’t secure a double-bye for itself in the SEC Tournament after losing to Florida on Saturday, but the Wildcats got the help they needed from Missouri.
Kentucky will be the No. 4 seed in the 2018 SEC Tournament thanks to Missouri’s win against Arkansas on Saturday night. The No. 4 seed gives Kentucky the valuable final slot for a double-bye. The double-bye is the difference between a three or four-win path to take home the tournament title.
Coach John Calipari’s squad will open SEC Tournament play at roughly 3:30 p.m. ET in the quarterfinals Friday. The tournament tips off Wednesday at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Mo.
As the No. 4 seed, Kentucky will face either Missouri, Georgia or Vanderbilt on Friday. No. 12 Georgia vs. No. 13 Vanderbilt tips off at 7 p.m. ET Wednesday. The winner of that game faces No. 5 Missouri at 3:30 p.m. ET Thursday. And then the winner of that game awaits Kentucky in the quarterfinals.
Kentucky has appeared in the SEC Tournament finals seven times in the last eight years, and the Wildcats have claimed the last three tournament championships. Kentucky beat Arkansas 82-65 to win the 2017 SEC Tournament in Nashville, Tenn.
The Wildcats were riding a four-game winning streak before an 80-67 loss to Florida on Saturday in the regular season finale. Kentucky finished the regular season 21-10 and 10-8 in the SEC.
2018 SEC Basketball Tournament schedule
First round: Wednesday
Game 1: No. 12 Georgia vs. No. 13 Vanderbilt, 7 p.m. ET, SEC Network
Game 2: No. 11 South Carolina vs. No. 14 Ole Miss, 25 minutes after the first game, SEC Network
Second round: Thursday
Game 3: No. 8 Texas A&M vs. No. 9 Alabama, 1 p.m. ET, SEC Network
Game 4: No. 5 Missouri vs. Winner of Georgia/Vanderbilt, 25 minutes after previous game, SEC Network
Game 5: No. 7 Mississippi State vs. No. 10 LSU, 7 p.m. ET SEC Network
Game 6: No. 6 Arkansas vs. winner of South Carolina/Ole Miss, 25 minutes after previous game, SEC Network
Game 7: No. 1 Auburn vs. Winner of Game 3 1 p.m. ET, ESPN
Game 8: No. 4 Kentucky vs. winner of Game 4:, 25 minutes after previous game, ESPN
Game 9: No. 2 Tennessee vs. winner of Game 5, 7 p.m. ET, SEC Network
Game 10: No. 3 Florida vs. winner of Game 6, 25 minutes after previous game, SEC Network
Game 11: Winner of Game 7 vs. Winner of Game 8, 1 p.m. ET, ESPN
Game 12: Winner of Game 9 vs. Winner of Game 10, 25 minutes after previous game, ESPN
Game 13: Winner of Game 11 vs. Winner of Game 12, 1 p.m. ET, ESPN
Watch: Kentucky coach John Calipari after loss to Florida