SEC ladies’ title up for grabs
Posted: Thursday, March 1, 2012 7:00 pm
By TERESA M. WALKER
AP Sports Writer
NASHVILLE (AP) — Welcome to the wide-open 2012 Southeastern Conference women’s basketball tournament.
Sure, No. 10 Kentucky won its first SEC title since 1982, and 13th-ranked Tennessee treats winning this tournament like an annual rite of March — adding its 15th championship a year ago.
But SEC teams see plenty of opportunity in the tournament starting Thursday in a season where Kentucky lost three times away from home in league play, and the Lady Vols are playing through a season like no other.
Vanderbilt junior forward Tiffany Clarke says it will be a challenge and points out the Commodores have won a SEC tournament title by playing four games in four days.
“It’s definitely doable, especially how every SEC team is this year,” Clarke said. “It’s literally anybody’s title this year.”
This tournament has no lack of drama.
Kentucky’s lone SEC title came 30 years ago in 1982 when the tournament winner was named the league champ, and the Wildcats (24-5) have lost in the finals the past two years to Tennessee. Nell Fortner is leaving Auburn and Sharon Fanning-Otis is retiring from Mississippi State at season’s end.
The tournament opens today with Florida playing Auburn, and the winner gets Kentucky on Friday. Fanning-Otis and Mississippi State play Vanderbilt followed by Arkansas against Mississippi with No. 25 South Carolina wrapping up the first day against Alabama.
Kentucky, Tennessee, No. 16 Georgia and LSU have byes and begin play on Friday.
Published in The Messenger 3.1.12