Women's SEC Tournament could be full of surprises

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DULUTH, Ga. — The six Southeastern Conference teams ranked in the Top 25 should be wary of upsets in this week’s women’s tournament.

And with good reason – there’s no reason the tournament should be any different than the regular season.

Most of the ranked teams, including No. 9 Tennessee, the SEC’s regular-season champion and top seed in the tournament, lost at least once to an unranked team during the 16-game conference schedule. Unranked Missouri beat the Lady Vols.

No. 12 Georgia, the No. 3 seed, lost at Mississippi State. No. 19 Texas A&M, the fourth seed, lost its last three, including to Vanderbilt and then-unranked Louisiana State.

Kentucky coach Matthew Mitchell says that is just life in the SEC.

No. 7 Kentucky earned the No. 2 seed by closing the regular season with a win over Tennessee.

“I’m so impressed with the quality of depth in the Southeastern Conference,” Mitchell said. “I really think it’s the best league in the country. I believe you could have lower seeds beating higher seeds. I absolutely believe that is possible.”

Mitchell named LSU, the sixth seed which moved into the Top 25 at No. 22 this week, and unranked Vanderbilt as possible surprise teams which could win the tournament.

The other ranked team in the tournament is No. 17 South Carolina.

Georgia Tech’s Tyaunna Marshall also made both teams. Teammate Brittany Jackson made both all-freshman teams.

SEC AWARDS

Tennessee’s Holly Warlick is the conference coach of the year.

Kentucky’s A’dia Mathies and Tennessee’s Meighan Simmons are co-players of the year. Tennessee forward Bashaara Graves is freshman of the year. South Carolina’s Ieasia Walker is named defensive player of the year.

Georgia’s Jasmine Hassell is a first-team selection.

ACC AWARDS

Two players from regular-season champion Duke lead the all-Atlantic Coast Conference first teams.

Duke’s Chelsea Gray and Elizabeth Williams were two of the nine players picked to both first teams, one selected by media members and school representatives, and another by the coaches.


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