FAYETTEVILLE – The University of Arkansas women’s basketball team enters the 2011 Southeastern Conference Tournament as a nine seed, the conference office announced tonight.
Arkansas (18-10, 6-10 SEC) lost to Alabama Sunday and that, combined with a Florida win, dropped the Razorbacks into the nine spot. They face Florida in the first round of the tournament at noon central Thursday, March 3. The tournament takes place at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tenn.
"We were pretty certain we were going to be in the eight/nine position unless we were able to upset Kentucky at home last week," Arkansas head coach Tom Collen said. "The eight/nine seed is a tough position because if you win in the first round, you have to play the undisputed top team in the conference in Tennessee. However, for us, maybe it’s a golden opportunity. Florida will be a tough challenge and they are on a roll with two wins heading into the tournament. I think our loss there in the SEC opener is motivation for us and I’m confident that we will go into the tournament ready for our next opportunity."
Fifth-ranked Tennessee (28-2, 16-0 SEC) enters the tournament as the top seed with a perfect 16-0 SEC record. Kentucky (22-7, 11-5 SEC), Vanderbilt (19-10, 10-6 SEC) and Georgia (20-9, 10-6 SEC) are the second, third and fourth seeds, respectively.
South Carolina (16-13, 8-8 SEC) made a late season run and finished as the fifth seed, followed by sixth seed Auburn (15-14, 8-8 SEC), seventh seed LSU (18-12, 8-8 SEC), eighth seed Florida (17-13, 7-9 SEC), ninth seed Arkansas (18-10, 6-10 SEC), 10th seed Alabama (16-13, 5-11 SEC), 11th seed Mississippi State (12-16, 4-12 SEC) and 12th seed Ole Miss (10-18, 3-13 SEC).
Arkansas faces Florida in the eight-nine match-up on the first day of tournament play. LSU faces Alabama in the seven-10 match-up at 2:30 p.m. followed by the 6:30 p.m. game between No. 5 South Carolina-No. 12 Ole Miss. The final game pairs No. 6 seed Auburn against No. 11 Mississippi State in the 9 p.m. contest.
All four games and the four second round games are televised by FOX Sports Net. Check local listings for more information.
The winner of the Razorback game with Florida faces Tennessee at noon Friday in game five of the tournament. The LSU-Alabama winner takes on Kentucky at 2:30 p.m. followed by the winner of South Carolina-Ole Miss meeting Georgia in the 6:30 p.m. contest. The nightcap features the winner of the Auburn-Mississippi State game facing Vanderbilt in the 9 p.m. game in the second round.
Play continues with a pair of games on Saturday with games at 3 p.m. and 5:30 p.m., both of which are televised by ESPNU. The SEC Championship game is scheduled for a 4:30 p.m. start Sunday and airs on ESPN2.
Download: 2011 SEC Bracket.pdf