Vanderbilt, LSU Headline Expanded SEC Tournament

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By Alabama News Network

Vanderbilt and LSU are the favorites to win this week's Southeastern Conference tournament after mowing through regular-season play with uncommon ease.
   
The real intrigue, however, is the new single-elimination format in the opening round of the tournament.
   
Instead of the usual double-elimination format, the league's coaches say the sudden-death round was done because of scheduling and the expansion of the tournament field from 10 to 12 teams.
   
The top four seeds receive a bye to the second round, where double-elimination play begins.
   
Several teams with borderline NCAA tournament hopes will play crucial games during the opening knockout round, including Auburn and Texas A&M.
   
Play begins Tuesday morning at Hoover Metropolitan Stadium in Hoover, Ala.
   
No. 1 seed Vanderbilt set an SEC record with 26 league wins this season.

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