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Our favorites, sleepers, and dark horses in the 2021 SEC basketball tournament

We take a look at one favorite, one sleeper and one dark horse candidate to win it all in the 2021 SEC Conference men's basketball tournament.

Alabama Crimson Tide guard Jaden Shackelford (5) drives to the basket against Kentucky Wildcats forward Jacob Toppin (0) during the second half at Coleman Coliseum. Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

In recent years, the Kentucky Wildcats have dominated the SEC and been in contention to win the conference tournament and make a deep tournament run. This year, it’s different as Alabama and Arkansas ranked inside the top 10 and have a legit shot to win the SEC tournament, which begins on Wednesday night.

We’ll be taking a look at some of the best teams in each conference, and providing picks and predictions for each conference tournament. Plenty of favorites will win, but we’ve got some sleepers to consider that might be able to pull off a big upset on the way to the NCAA Tournament.

Here’s the bracket for the SEC Conference Tournament with TV listings, dates and times.

Favorite: Alabama (+220)

Nate Oats’ crew has been one of the best teams in the SEC this season and to no surprise is the favorite to win the conference tournament. Alabama finished the regular season with a record of 21-6 and have won three-straight games. They have dynamic scorers up and down their starting lineup, led by Jaden Shackelford, John Petty Jr., Jahvon Quinerly, and Herbert Jones. Since they are the No. 1 seed in the conference, they will not have to play until Friday.

Sleeper: LSU (+500)

They might have the third best odds to win the SEC Tournament, but the Tigers are a sleeper squad with the little attention they are getting. LSU finished the regular season 16-8 and third in the SEC standings, behind Arkansas and Alabama. The Bayou Bengals have entered conference play winning three out of their last five games.

They are led by freshman guard Cameron Thomas, who is averaging 23.1 points per game and still have junior guard Ja’Vonte Smart. If they were to make it to the finals, they would likely face Arkansas or Alabama. This season, the Tigers are 1-2 against those two teams.

Dark Horse: Ole Miss (+4000)

If they didn’t have a record below .500, then the Kentucky Wildcats would’ve been a fine dark horse pick to win the SEC tourney. But a better selection is the Ole Miss Rebels, who ended the season with a record of 15-10 and 10-8 in conference play. Ole Miss have won three out of their five games, which include a victory over Missouri, who they’ been beaten twice this season.

The Rebels will begin tournament play on Thursday night at 9 p.m. ET agains the South Carolina Gamecocks, who only have six wins this season. Ole Miss should be able to get past them, which would set up a battle against LSU in the next round.

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