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Dykes Says SEC Will Go To 18-Game Hoops Slate Next Year

Earlier today we posted word that the top dog of the SEC’s transition team — former MSU athletic director Larry Templeton — had told Missouri media members yesterday that the SEC would play a 16-game schedule next year and an 18-game slate the following year.

But basketball analyst Jimmy Dykes of ESPN/ABC recently tweeted this:

“It is confirmed.  SEC will play 18 conference games starting next season in men’s hoops.  Conference play begins on Jan. 9.”

Perhaps the media members speaking with Templeton yesterday misunderstood what he was saying.  Or maybe Templeton simply misspoke.  But Dykes works for a company that has a large contract with the SEC to air the league’s basketball games.  It would make sense that ESPN would know the SEC’s plans ahead of most everyone else.


That January 9th start date is the second Wednesday of January.  This season, the league began its 16-game conference slate on the first Saturday in January.  It seems odd then that the SEC would actually add a pair of conference games to the schedule… and then push back that start of said schedule to a later date.  We know that the SEC Tournament will end on the day of the NCAA selection process, so there will be no movement on the back end.  If Dykes is correct, instead of playing 16 games between January 7th and March 11th (as is the case this year), the league will cram 18 games into the space between January 9th and March 10th next season.

We’re simply speculating here, but it could be that Dykes’ January 9th date marks ESPN’s first in-conference SEC broadcast for 2012-13.  If the SEC adds two games to its schedule, it’s likely that schedule will begin earlier in the season rather than later.

— Finally finished with headlines post and had a chance go dig up the 2013 SEC Tournament dates.  The tourney will run from March 10 through the 13th in Atlanta.

A quick check of the calendar shows that the SEC can squeeze 18 games into that time frame.  Each team will play two games per week — we assume — and there will no longer be a basketball open date.

January 9-12  — Games 1 and 2
January 13-19 — Games 3 and 4
January 20-26 — Games 5 and 6
January 27-February 2 — Games 7 and 8
February 3-9 — Games 9 and 10
February 10-16 — Games 11 and 12
February 17-23 — Games 13 and 14
February 24-2 — Games 15 and 16
February 3-March 9 — Games 17 and 18


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