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More Bids And Better Seeds For The SEC? The League So Far Has Proven The Committee Correct

gfx - honest opinionThe Southeastern Conference has played four postseason games so far.  Kentucky lost at tiny Robert Morris.  Tennessee lost at home to tiny Mercer.  Missouri was about as much challenge to Colorado State last night as a tiny mouse to a big cat.

Half the SEC teams invited into the NCAA Tournament or NIT have been booted in their tourney’s first round.  (Sorry, NCAA, but we’re not going to call what’s really the first round the second just because you’ve stuck four play-in games in front of it.)

Ah, but Alabama knocked off Northeastern at home in its first NIT game.  Hurrah!  That’s the lone positive so far for the SEC.

Like it or not, unless Ole Miss and Florida both go on long, long tourney runs the rest of the nation will have its perception of the SEC — that it’s down — reinforced.  I would throw Alabama onto that list, but upsets make more of an impression on fans’ minds than who actually wins the NIT.  Can you even name last year’s champ?  (Stanford.)

Granted, Kentucky and Tennessee clearly had no interest of playing in a secondary tourney once their NCAA bubbles burst.  Unfortunately for them that point isn’t bolted to the box scores that have now been posted for all-time on hundreds of sports websites.  No one cares why they lost… just that they lost… to Robert Morris and Mercer.

Mizzou, well, it had no excuse.  The Tigers made the dance.  They faced a team from the Mountain West, a league that many of us down South said wasn’t worthy of five bids.  Well, as Charles Barkley said last night, the MWC was better at the top than the SEC this year.  Hell, it was probably better at the bottom, too, but that’s beside the point.  Missouri didn’t even bother to lead for 37 minutes and then choke the game away.  The Tigers looked like the lesser team from first tip to final buzzer.  So much for the SEC deserving one or two of the bids Mountain West teams received.

Amazingly, in our comment boxes have appeared this week suggestions that the NCAA selection committee chose to keep SEC teams out of the tourney because of a Northern bias.  We’ve also seen it proposed that dissing the SEC is a way for the NCAA to send money to other conferences who don’t win in football.  Riiiiiight.

Odd that LSU athletic director Joe Alleva — who was on this year’s committee — would help cover up such an anti-SEC conspiracy.  It’s equally odd that the last time the SEC got only three NCAA bids was in 2009 when league commissioner Mike Slive actually chaired the selection panel.  His response then: “We’ve got to schedule better.”

Clearly Slive must be a double-agent.  Perhaps he’s even a double-naught.  Probably got those Cuban cigars he loves from Castro his own self.

Hey, the SEC was shafted this season because it deserved the shaft.  A fourth SEC team could have gotten into the tourney.  Tennessee’s numbers made it bubble-worthy.  But Tennessee and the SEC didn’t get that fourth bid.  And Tennessee certainly didn’t set out to prove the committee wrong as it yawned its way through an embarrassing home loss in front of 5,000 people and a handful of crickets.

So let’s just stop all the whining and whimpering.  The SEC’s lack of bids doesn’t trace to a Free Masons plot.  It traces to a crummy non-conference schedule trumped only by a crummier non-conference record.

As for the NIT, sorry Arkansas fans, but the SEC’s overall suckitude in 2012-13 and so far in the postseason suggests once more that the Hogs shouldn’t be squealing about their omission from that tourney, either.  You guys finished behind the three SEC squads who’ve already slipped on banana peels.

If SEC fans want the league’s bid odds to improve next year, you better be pulling hard for Ole Miss today at 12:40pm ET (against Wisconsin) and for Florida tonight at 7:27pm ET (against Northwestern State).  So far the perception of a weak SEC has been reinforced in tournament play.  There’s only one way to change that perception going into next season — win some games with America watching.

Rebels and Gators, the SEC banner is in your hands.

 

 


8 comments
bpa_kc
bpa_kc

I'm beyond disappointed in my Tigers.  They were absolutely dominated from start to finish..   Honestly, if I had just watched that game w/out having the score shown on the screen, I would have assumed Mizzou was  losing by 20+. 

 

Colorado State looked like they wanted to be there and were hungry to advance in the tourney...  Mizzou, not so much.  I haven't given up on Haith yet, but I think he needs to be on the hot seat. 

 

Good luck to UF in the tourney!

buddha22
buddha22

If Marshall Henderson has our collective fate in his hands...ah hell, just dump the kerosene and light it!

ice2cold
ice2cold

John John John. Once again you have proven that anybody can write anything to support their argument. How about those blue raiders? They lost so they didn't deserve to get in right? How about New Mexico? Didn't we have to hear about how awesome that conference was this year? Oh, but wait the only time it proves worthiness in basketball is when the SEC loses. Typical!!!

5LittlePiggies
5LittlePiggies

I know Arkansas fans are tired of the mediocrity.  We have a storied program dating back to the 70's, but you wouldn't know it since the day Nolan departed.  I can remember the SEC being a tough league with Kentucky, Arkansas, Tennessee, MS State, Vanderbilt, regularly making deep runs in the tourney in the 90s, and then the rise of Florida.  What happened?  Has the SEC focused so much on football since the invention of HUGE tv contracts for football that basketball has completely been abandoned?  And do the higher ups in the SEC office really care as long as football keeps paying the bills?  Unfortunately apathy has seem to set in for many fan bases.  All you hear now is, "Is it football season yet?"  I don't know about other folks, but I still care about having a winning basketball program and always competing for the SEC title.  I know Mike Anderson does, too, but does the SEC care enough to support it?

John at MrSEC
John at MrSEC moderator

 @ice2cold 

 

You just mentioned one loss for MTSU and one loss for MWC.  I believe I pointed to the SEC losing 3 out of its 4 games played.

 

John

buddha22
buddha22

@5LittlePiggies MA can not hope to win with that style away from home. The reality of recruiting and the players needed to win with that system tell you it's a pipe dream. He came closest with the elite 8 run with MU but they needed at least one, probably 2 more to have made the final four (although UConn was glad to come out the winner) and nothing that MA has done indicates that recruiting void of 5* recruits with size, length and conditioning is on the horizon ala UK. Simply, that's not what those one and dones are inetrested in.

ice2cold
ice2cold

 @John at MrSEC

 Well look at poor lowly ole miss out of the sec beating up on the almighty big 10!!!!!

5LittlePiggies
5LittlePiggies

 @buddha22  I don't think anyone's recruiting quite like coach Cal is right now, but even a roster full of 5* is no guarantee, ala UK this year.  Anderson does have a 5* McDonalds All-American and a 4* coming next year.  But to say that MA can't hope to win on the road with his style of basketball, all you have to do is look at his record to see he can win on the road more than he has in 2 years at Arkansas.  He's about .500 away from home apart from Arkansas, which is all you need to do to make it to the NCAA tourney if you lose only 1 game at home all season.  The road woes for Arkansas have been well documented since Nolan left.  It's not just an Anderson problem.  But we can agree to disagree on MA and his abilities.  That all being said, my comment was not aimed at just the Arkansas program.  It was regarding the SEC as a whole.  What gives?  Is it just a cycle we're in because of coaching turnover, or is it really an SEC mindset that if it's not football, who cares?

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