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Calipari Isn’t Worried About Winning The SEC Tourney

Winning the SEC Tournament in Atlanta — where thousands of Big Blue fans will take over the Georgia Dome — isn’t a top priority for Kentucky’s John Calipari.

“We’re just playing for the (NCAA Tournament) seed, really,” Doron Lamb said yesterday.  “That’s the main thing.  Coach said it doesn’t matter if we lose or win, but we’re trying to win every game we can right now.  If we get the championship, we get it.”

Is that true, Coach?

“Yeah, we’d like to win it, obviously,” Calipari said.  “But it’s for seeding more than anything else.  This tournament is to prepare us to play well that following week.”

“Have fun” is another Calipari key come tourney time.

“My best teams, what we drove them with and what they thought about… you’ve got to have more fun than everybody else.  And you really have to stay in the moment.

“You can’t worry about winning.  Just worry about playing hard and executing.  You’ve got to recognize each other’s good play.  You’ve got to be prepared to practice and really bring it every practice. … Help each other during games.  Chest bumps.  Give them layups.  You’ve got to have fun playing, and that’s the only way to have fun.”

Kudos to Calipari for saying what everyone else already knows — the SEC Tournament is about seeding and nothing else.  If you’re a scrub and you’re trying to pry open the door to the NCAA tourney — a la Georgia in 2008 — sure the tourney championship means something.

But to the teams already expected to get a Big Dance invitation, the league tourney is a warm-up, nothing more.

Question: Would you rather your favorite team win the SEC Tournament and go out in the first round of the NCAA tourney… or lose its first game in Atlanta and then make a run to the Final Four?



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