In just under a month, the Southeastern Conference (SEC) men’s basketball tournament will begin. The 14 teams will be in competition to hold the trophy at the conclusion of the five day tournament. The tournament has been one of the most interesting to watch over the past few years and each championship game in the past three years has been decided by seven or less points. In fact, there have been only three games with a double-digit victory margin in the past 10 tournaments. While Kentucky is the overwhelming favorite to win, analysts are widely aware of Arkansas, Florida, Mississippi, and Georgia.
The tournament will be played at Bridgestone Arena, in Nashville, Tennessee. The arena is home to the Nashville Predators of the National Hockey League. The illustrious stadium has been nominated for numerous awards dating back to as early as 1997. It was nominated for the 2014 Arena of the Year award and was recently named host of the 2016 NHL All-Star game. Bridgestone Arena most recently hosted the SEC tournament in the years of 2013 and 2010.
As is with many stadiums, parking is a major planning process, and Bridgestone Arena is no different. While Bridgestone Arena doesn’t have the traditional parking lot, there are plenty of places for spectators to park their vehicles during the event. The first option is the Grand Avenue Garage at Bridgestone Arena. This garage is attached to the Bridgestone area on the corner of 6th Avenue South and Demonbreun St. Another option is Pinnacle parking at Symphony Place Garage. This option is located at 3rd Avenue South and Demonbreun St. and is located just two blocks away from Bridgestone Arena. Unlike the Grand Avenue Garage, parking passes are typically required to park here. Another place for parking is Lot R at LP Field. There is a shuttle service to take you to Bridgestone Arena, or you can choose to take the ten minute walk to the location.
Nearby the Arena
Nearby the arena are many great places to satisfy your hunger and get a good taste of the south. Under a tenth of a mile from the arena is Jack’s Bar-B-Que. LocalEats tabbed Jack’s as the best barbecue and an editors’ pick. Visitors can’t go wrong with the pork ribs, the smoked turkey breast, or complementing a meal with some of the famous Jack’s Texas Sweet Hot Sauce, which was voted best sauce on the planet in 2014.
If Barbecue isn’t your first choice, then The Southern Steak & Oyster might be the place for you. They do prefer reservations to be made, but eating here will give you up to three hours of free parking in the Pinnacle parking garage. Albeit the pricy menu, one can’t go wrong with the steak or the oysters, as the name implies. The restaurant features a full bar, patio seating, and vegetarian options for its consumers.
For the tourists, there are quite a few destinations that would be worth a sight before you watch some college basketball. Visitors could take a gander at the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame and Museum, the Music City Marketplace, the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, or whatever catches your eye while walking down the streets of Nashville.
For the tournament itself, it will begin on March 11th, and will run for five days with the championship game being played on March 15th. Here is a table illustrating the game schedule for the tournament:
|FIRST ROUND: Wednesday, March 11||Game 1: Seed #12 vs. Seed #13|
|Game 2: Seed #11 vs. Seed #14|
|SECOND ROUND: Thursday, March 12||Game 3: Seed #8 vs. Seed #9|
|Game 4: Seed #5 vs. Game 1 winner|
|Game 5: Seed #10 vs. Seed #7|
|Game 6: Seed #6 vs. Game 2 winner|
|THIRD ROUND: Friday, March 13||Game 7: Seed #1 vs. Game 3 winner|
|Game 8: Seed #4 vs. Game 4 winner|
|Game 9: Seed #2 vs. Game 5 winner|
|Game 10: Seed #3 vs. Game 6 winner|
|SEMIFINALS: Saturday, March 14th||Game 11: Game 7 winner vs. Game 8 winner|
|Game 12: Game 9 winner vs. Game 10 winner|
|FINALS: Sunday, March 15||Game 13: Game 11 winner vs. Game 12 winner|
Those who attend this tournament will see some great college basketball, as well as the beautiful city of Nashville.