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5 SEConds: SEC Basketball Tournament Preview

The focus of the SEC basketball tournament is directly on Kentucky's pursuit of perfection. Who has the best chance to knock off the Wildcats?

Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

No one is beating Kentucky in the next 9 games if they play up to their potential, but the odds are good that the Wildcats will be off a couple of nights. After running out to 18-0 through conference play, no one is much of a strong candidate to end Kentucky's SEC streak in this week's tournament. However, Texas A&M and LSU were two teams that pushed the Wildcats to the bring in the regular season.

Kentucky will face the winner of a potential Aggie-Tigers matchup in the semifinals. If the Wildcats are to lose, the LSU-Texas A&M winner would seem the most likely candidate as the hunger of either team to make the NCAA Tournament could help carry them. LSU has the ability to match Kentucky in the paint as well as anyone in the country and Texas A&M is a deep team that should have Danuel House back for the tournament. Here are 5 highlights to wrap up the SEC regular season and to look ahead to the tournament.

Starting 5…My All-Conference Team: Josh Richardson-Tennessee, Stefan Moody-Ole Miss, KT Harrell-Auburn, Jarell Martin-LSU, Bobby Portis-Arkansas.

FORE!…Texas A&M finds itself firmly on the bubble after dropping consecutive games at Florida and the finale at home against Alabama. A win in either game would have left the Aggies alone in third place at 12-6. Instead, Billy Kennedy's team finds itself as a 5-seed having to play an extra game against the winner of Mississippi State and Auburn. A loss in that game would be devastating to the NCAA Tournament resume and a win does not provide any boost. The Aggies are a deep club with a great chance to make a run both this week and in the NCAA tournament, but they are 1 loss away from not having an opportunity to make a run in either tournament.

3D...There was a time when Willie Cauley-Stein was considered soft. Then he just started dunking on everyone.

2 for the Show…The SEC Conference Player of the Year is Karl-Anthonie Cauley-Towns from Kentucky. It is too hard to distinguish whether Karl-Anthony Towns or Willie Cauley-Stein saved more games for the undefeated Wildcats, but both are worthy of being Player of the Year. It could be decades before college basketball sees a frontline like the Wildcats has this year and the two future 2015 lottery picks were right in the middle of the run all season.

And 1…The SEC Tournament begins at 7:00 p.m. ET on Wednesday night (Full SEC Tournament Bracket). The most intriguing match-ups will be a potential bubble-worthy game between LSU and Texas A&M on Friday night and any time Kentucky is playing. While the Wildcats can win most games with a second-tier effort, it will be interesting to see if the team gets tight with the pressure of history on its back.