The 2018 SEC basketball tournament opens Wednesday, with two games scheduled at Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Missouri.
The Georgia Bulldogs will play the Vanderbilt Commodores in the first game, with the South Carolina Gamecocks and Ole Miss Rebels closing out the night. Vanderbilt will be looking to repeat last year's semifinal run.
Below are the results from Wednesday and a look at Thursday's second-round schedule. The full bracket and tournament schedule is available on the SEC's official website.
No. 12 Georgia beats No. 13 Vanderbilt, 78-62
No. 11 South Carolina beats No. 14 Ole Miss, 85-84
No. 9 Alabama vs. No. 8 Texas A&M, 1 p.m. ET (SEC Network)
No. 12 Georgia vs. No. 5 Missouri, 3 p.m. ET (SEC Network)
No. 10 LSU vs. No. 7 Mississippi State, 7 p.m. ET (SEC Network)
No. 11 South Carolina vs. No. 6 Arkansas, 9 p.m. ET (SEC Network)
Georgia beats Vanderbilt, 78-62
Georgia cruised to a comfortable 78-62 win over Vanderbilt to avenge its 81-66 defeat to the Commodores back in February.
Three-point shooting was a major factor in the earlier meeting between Georgia and Vanderbilt. The Bulldogs were just 2-of-9 from beyond the arc, while the Commodores shot 11-of-24. Vanderbilt didn't have that advantage Wednesday night. The Commodores hit eight three-pointers, only two more than the Bulldogs.
Vanderbilt leading scorer Jeff Roberson also battled foul trouble and shot 6-of-15 from the field for 16 points, as Georgia did well to hassle the senior forward.
Georgia largely won this game under the basket. The Bulldogs owned a 41-32 rebounding edge, including a 15-9 advantage on the offensive glass. Derek Ogbeide led the team with 10 boards, while Nicolas Claxton came off the bench to collect seven rebounds and score eight points.
Yante Maten delivered in a big way for the Bulldogs, scoring a game-high 25 points on an efficient 9-of-12 clip from the field.
Georgia will play Missouri in the second round. The Bulldogs lost to the Tigers earlier in the year, and Missouri head coach Cuonzo Martin told ESPN's Paul Finebaum that Michael Porter Jr. is returning to play in the SEC tournament.
Even with Porter likely to ease his way back into the Tigers rotation, Georgia will have its hands full Thursday.
South Carolina beats Ole Miss, 85-84
South Carolina's SEC tournament championship hopes are still alive after it outlasted Ole Miss in the final stretch of Wednesday's matchup to come away with an 85-84 victory.
The one-point deficit suggests there was drama at the end, but Bruce Stevens hit a meaningless three-pointer for the Rebels at the buzzer to cut the final difference from four to one. Ole Miss won the regular-season matchup and held a second-half lead Wednesday, but South Carolina's offense proved too much throughout the full 40 minutes.
Frank Booker (21 points, five rebounds and four steals) and Chris Silva (21 points, 11 rebounds, three assists and three blocks) led the way from a statistical perspective, carrying a South Carolina offense that connected on 12 of its 21 three-point attempts (57.1 percent) to overcome an ugly 19-of-34 (54.5 percent) free-throw mark.
Breein Tyree led Ole Miss with 18 points, while Stevens added a double-double with 15 points and 13 rebounds.
However, the Rebels struggled to prevent South Carolina's offense from establishing a consistent rhythm down the stretch unless the victors were missing free throws.
Wednesday's loss ended a disastrous finish to Ole Miss' campaign that saw it go a mere 2-12 in its final 14 games of the regular season.
South Carolina will turn its attention toward a Thursday matchup with Arkansas and attempt to enact more revenge on a team it lost to during the regular season. The Razorbacks handled the Gamecocks by 16 points in their only matchup, although South Carolina has some momentum on its side following Wednesday's victory.