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Missouri And Texas A&M Worth $41 Million To The SEC In Year One

offering-cashAccording to the SEC’s federal tax return for 2012, the conference saw its revenue grow by $41 million dollars in its first year as a 14-school league.  USA Today requested the return which shows the SEC took in $314.5 million in 2012.  Missouri and Texas A&M were welcomed into the Southeastern Conference in the summer of 2012.

Interestingly, the SEC showed an overall deficit for its fiscal year which ended on August 31st, 2013.  While the league brought in $314.5 million, it spent $317.9 million.  Most of that money went back to the member institutions in the form of annual payments.  The league will hand out new checks next month during the SEC Meetings in Destin, Florida.

The SEC’s tax return also shows:

 

*  Missouri and Texas A&M each made about $19.5 million in their first year in the SEC.  The two schools made a little more than $12 million in their final year in the Big 12.

*  Mike Slive’s base pay increased to nearly $1.2.  His overall income was down from 2011 when he received more than half a million dollars in bonuses.

*  Slive’s base salary in 2012 was less than what fellow commissioners John Swofford (ACC), Jim Delany (Big Ten) and Larry Scott (Pac-12) made in 2011.

 

The Southeastern Conference fell $1 million shy of the Big Ten’s revenue total ($315.5 million) from the previous year.  When compared to all other conferences, the SEC and Big Ten are still dominant financially.  For example, the ACC ranked third in revenue in 2011, making $223.3 million.

The SEC’s revenue will continue to rise over the next few seasons as the new playoff system will debut, new bowl partnerships will kick off and the SEC Network will launch.

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SEC Commitment Comparator – 4/9/13

blue_poker_chipsYou know what today is?  It’s exactly 44 weeks from National Signing Day 2015.  So why the heck not compare the league recruiting classes to date?

As usual, we’ve used Rivals.com’s star rankings as our foundation.  For each star they award a prospect, we assign one point.  We also give a point to the 0-star recruits who’ve yet to be graded by Rivals.  Toward the right of the table below you’ll see the total points amassed by each SEC program up until now.  On the far right you’ll also see the average points per commit for each school.

It’s early — obviously — but as the recruiting process begins earlier and earlier each year, it’s not too early to begin to draw a few conclusions.  Over the past few years we’ve seen that those programs that can lasso a large number of commitments early create a momentum that’s hard to stop.  In the age of social media, committed prospects serve as additional recruiters.  And those players who’ve already committed will have the opportunity to woo other prospects at various camps and combines this summer.

In most cases it pays to get the ball rolling early.  The table below will give you an idea of who’s done just that…

 

  School   Commits   5-stars   4-stars   3-stars   2-stars   1- & 0-stars   Total Points   Avg. Pts/Commit
  Alabama   9   0   8   1   0   0   35   3.88
  Texas A&M   9   0   8   1   0   0   35   3.88
  Tennessee   10   0   5   4   1   0   34   3.40
  LSU   9   2   1   5   1   0   31   3.44
  Miss. State   9   0   2   5   0   2   25   2.77
  S. Carolina   7   1   3   2   0   1   24   3.42
  Arkansas   7   0   4   2   0   1   23   3.28
  Georgia   5   0   4   0   0   1   17   3.40
  Kentucky   6   0   0   5   0   1   16   2.66
  Ole Miss   4   0   1   3   0   0   13   3.25
  Auburn   5   0   1   2   0   2   12   2.40
  Missouri   4   0   2   1   0   1   12   3.00
  Florida   5   0   0   3   0   2   11   2.20
  Vanderbilt   2   0   1   0   0   1   5   2.50

 

As you can see, Alabama, LSU and Texas A&M — as usual — are off to good starts.  Ditto Tennessee where Butch Jones is off to a hot start for the second year in a row.  Dan Mullen and Mississippi State are racking up commitments as well.  And while MSU’s point total isn’t quite as high as those mentioned ahead of them, there is reason for optimism in Starkville.

At the other end of the spectrum, Auburn, Georgia and Florida all have just five commitments to this point.  For Auburn and Georgia, there’s little reason to worry as those schools typically finish strong.  The same can typically be said for Florida, but the temperature of Will Muschamp’s seat leaves us wondering: Are the Gators just taking their time or are prospects leery of committing to a coach who might not be in Gainesville a year from now?  Time will tell.

Missouri, Ole Miss and Vanderbilt all have four or fewer commitments.  Derek Mason is just getting his feet beneath him at Vandy.  Hugh Freeze has shown that he can recruit, though his most successful class — a top five class two years ago — benefited from a hot start.  Missouri fans — as one pointed out via email today — can be pleased with the fact that Missouri has two four-star prospects out of its four-person class.  Last year the Tigers signed just two four-star prospects in their 28-man haul.

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Kentucky Falls Just Short Of National Crown & Other Basketball Notes (Part 2)

BioIBjOCEAABT9ZThe three SEC squads that did make this year’s NCAA Tournament each had a nice run.  Tennessee reached the Sweet Sixteen and was three missed free throws away from making the Midwest Regional final and SEC versus SEC showdown.  Kentucky went on to win that regional and advance all the way to the national title game before finally running out of steam.  And on the other side of the bracket, Florida cruised all the way to the Final Four before falling to eventual national champ, UConn.

Will that success lead next year’s NCAA Tournament selection committee to send the SEC a few more invitations to the Big Dance?  Probably not.

Hey, in theory, impressing in this year’s tourney could sway next year’s panel when it comes to SEC teams on the bubble.  But the committee doesn’t often take last year’s success/failure into account when doling out at-large bids.  First example: After winning back-to-back national championships in 2006 and 2007, Florida’s bubble was popped two years in a row sending the Gators to the NIT.  In 2012, Kentucky won the national title.  In 2013, UK was given a thumbs-down on Selection Sunday, dropping them into the NIT.  One year’s success or failure doesn’t have much impact on who the committee picks and doesn’t pick for its tournament the following year.

On the flipside, perhaps the tournament runs by UF, UK and UT will have a positive impact on the SEC’s overall conference RPI ranking.  That might not guarantee more bids in 2015, but it couldn’t hurt.

 

Early top 25 rankings look awfully familiar

Will the SEC be better next season?  Not in the eyes of a couple of national hoops writers.  ESPN’s Eamonn Brennan posted an early top 25 preview for next season.  He has Kentucky — with a new batch of highly-touted freshmen — ranked #3 in the nation and Florida ranked #8.  That’s it.  Two ranked teams.  He does mention Tennessee among his group of 15 teams that “may crack the list at some point before November.”

Meanwhile, Rob Dauster of NBC and College Basketball Talk has posted his own early top 25 rankings.  Kentucky is ranked #5.  Florida is ranked #14.  And that’s it.  No other Southeastern Conference squad earns a mention from Dauster.

 

UConn’s basketball success doesn’t mean much in a football-crazed culture

Connecticut’s men’s basketball team has won four national championships in 16 seasons.  Over that same span the UConn women’s team has won seven national crowns and will be playing for their eighth tonight.  If there’s a D-I campus where basketball is king, it’s the one in Storrs, Connecticut.

And that fact hasn’t helped the Huskies one bit in terms of conference affiliation opportunities.

UConn has campaigned try and gain inclusion in the ACC.  No dice.  Boston College wants to be the New England team in John Swofford’s conference.  For that reason, Louisville — hardly a team located on the Atlantic Coast — got the nod to replace Maryland over UConn and others.

Connecticut hasn’t had much luck talking their way into the Big Ten, either.  UConn lacks the resume — meaning a membership in the Association of American Universities — for which Jim Delany’s league lusts.  Maryland and Rutgers received Big Ten invitations instead.

Conference expansion/realignment has been driven by just about every factor out there except basketball.  And that’s a shame for Connecticut because UConn is fast becoming Basketball U with both its men’s and women’s teams.

 

What would a big game be without a few couch fires

Pity the poor, innocent couches.  It’s become commonplace in recent years for college students to burn couches after big losses (Ohio State).  They also light ‘em up after big wins (West Virginia).  Mostly they just burn them when they’re feeling good and liquored up, regardless of a big game’s outcome.  Last night, Kentuckians got in on the act.

According to The Lexington Herald Leader, there were 19 couch fires, several small trash fires, 31 arrests, and 23 injuries after Connecticut topped Kentucky 60-54.  It was a disappointing, immature reaction that’s made news all across the web, the nation and the world.

There are worse things, however.  Like being stuck with a tattoo bearing the words “2014 National Champions” above the UK logo.  For the record, Tyler Austin Black says he’s going to keep the tattoo.

Betcha he has some work done to cover up the “2014″ at least.

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Kentucky Falls Just Short Of National Crown & Other Basketball Notes (Part 1)

Kentucky-DejectedConnecticut’s 60-54 win in last night’s NCAA Tournament final accomplished two things.  First, it gave the Huskies their fourth national championship since 1999.  That’s two more titles than Duke, Florida and North Carolina won over that stretch and three more than champs Michigan State, Maryland, Syracuse, Kentucky and Louisville.  If there’s a dominant program in the land right now, it’s Connecticut.

Second, the UConn win blocked John Calipari’s trip to the winners’ circle.  Kentucky won the national crown in 2012 and was aiming for its second title in three years.  Instead, Wildcat fans will have to “settle” for this remarkable run of success for Coach Cal and his youth-driven program: one national championship, one NCAA tourney runner-up, one Final Four loss, one Elite Eight loss and one NIT trip.  That’s one championship banner, three Final Fours, and four Elite Eights in five years.  If there’s a UK fan out there who feels the need to complain about the Cats’ coach, he’s probably sipped a tad too much Kentucky bourbon.

 

Live by the guards, die by the guards

Over the course of UK’s last nine games, Aaron and Andrew Harrison elevated their play.  No wonder then that a UK squad that went 22-9 (.709 winning percentage) in the regular season went 7-2 (.777) in tournament play.  The Wildcats’ only two losses were to Florida (who reached the Final Four) in the SEC Tournament finals and to UConn in last night’s tourney finals.

On Monday night, the 6-6 Harrison twins were outplayed by their small UConn counterparts, Ryan Boatright and Shabazz Napier.  Kentucky’s guards scored 15 points on six-of-15 shooting, put up five assists and turned the ball over seven times.

Boatright and Napier, on the other hand, combined for 36 points on 13-of-22 shooting with six assists and seven turnovers.  Boatright is a 6-0.  Napier is a 6-1.  In last night’s game, speed and quickness got the better of the size and strength.

 

Calipari downplays rumored tie to the Los Angeles Lakers

Former Kentucky star Rex Chapman didn’t make any new friends in the Bluegrass State last night.  A little less two hours before game time, Chapman tweeted about a rumor he’d heard — one would think — in NBA circles:

 

tweet one

 

After getting e-flogged on Twitter, Chapman returned to say: “I don’t live in some dream world & have alwys called it straight.”  He also posted this zinger: “Let’s not 4get, 6-wks ago many in BBN would’ve walked Cal 2 LA.”  True, plenty in the Big Blue Nation were calling for Calipari’s head as his teams slogged its way through a regular season that didn’t live up to preseason hype.

After the game, Calipari said that his team was unaware of the tweet before the game, so no one can blame Chapman for Monday’s loss.  It was still clear the coach wasn’t happy with the rumor being passed around when he said: “The Lakers have a coach.  Kentucky has a basketball coach.  I got the best job in the country.  I’m not going to even dignify that stuff.”  That’s two statements of fact, one opinion, and a non-denial denial.  (Just found a Dan Wetzel piece that shows that writer viewed Calipari’s statement in almost the exact same way we did.)

UK athletic director Mitch Barnhart never gave a specific “He’ll be back” after the game, either.  According to SI.com, Barnhart said:

 

“Cal’s been great, he’s been a great ambassador for this program and he cares a lot about Kentucky.  So clearly we love how he represents what we do.  He looks great in blue.  You live day to day with people and you trust what they do.  For five years now, I think I know him fairly well.  If there was anything I need to concerned with, he and I have had conversations, and in those conversations he’s been very, very focused on this tournament.  His total focus this season, especially this last month and a half, have been to get the team to a spot where we could compete for something like this.  I think he’s done a marvelous job doing that.”

 

He has.  But that, too, is a non-denial denial.

Do we believe Calipari will head to the Lakers or another NBA team this offseason?  No.  But that doesn’t mean it’s not the perfect time for UK’s coach to play a little footsie with some pro franchise in order to remind Kentucky fans to appreciate what he and his teams are achieving.

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SEC Headlines 4/8/2014

headlines-tueSEC Football

1. Missouri wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham has been indefinitely suspended ”for a violation of undisclosed team policies.”

2. What helped Amari Cooper have a big scrimmage on Saturday? The Alabama receiver credited Lane Kiffin’s offense.

3. Here’s a practice report from Alabama’s workout on Monday.

4. Auburn offensive tackle Avery Young is back after suffering a painful broken hand injury in the BCS title game.

5. Jonathan Mincy and Jermaine Whitehead are two leaders in Auburn’s secondary.

6. The LSU quarterback job is freshman Brandon Harris’ to lose, writes Barrett Sallee.

7. Here are five Ole Miss players who showed up as surprises this spring.

8. Kelvin Taylor appears to be “The Guy” at tailback for Florida.

9. Georgia has high hopes for linebacker Leonard Floyd as a pass rusher this fall.

10. Georgia’s coaches have challenged running back Todd Gurley to give it his all on the field.

NCAA Championship Game

11. UConn winning the national title proves the regular season doesn’t mean much, writes Pat Dooley.

12. UConn’s men drew inspiration from the women in their lives, writes Nicole Auerbach.

13. Kentucky fan Tyler Austin Black is keeping the “2014 Nati9nal Champions” tattoo he got before the tournament began.

14. Kentucky’s group of freshmen is already a thing of the past as several are expected to leave for the NBA.

SEC Basketball

15. Bruce Pearl says there have already been some “cultural changes” with Auburn’s approach to practice.

16. Auburn legend Chuck Person has joined Pearl’s staff. Pearl: “This is a pretty special day for Auburn basketball and the Auburn family.”

SEC/NFL Draft

17. Offensive tackle Cyrus Kouandjio and his former teammates are preparing for Tuesday’s Pro Day at Alabama.

18. Quarterback Zach Mettenberger will visit several NFL teams following LSU’s Pro Day.

19. Safety Craig Loston wants to show NFL teams he can cover as well as hit.

Extra

20. Former NFL linebacker Brendan Ayanbadejo believes Nick Saban traded him from the Miami Dolphins because he took paternity leave.

21. An Ohio bill says college athletes aren’t employees under state law.

22. UConn star guard Shabazz Napier said “there are hungry nights that I go to bed and I’m starving.”

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NCAA Championship Roundup: Kentucky Falls To Uconn

gfx-hoops-round-up2UConn 60 – Kentucky 54

1. Kentucky came up just short on its incredible run. John Calipari: “I can’t believe what these guys got done together.”

2. Video: Watch Calipari’s postgame press conference.

3. That wasn’t Julius Randle against UConn, writes Gregg Doyel. Randle finished with just 10 points and six rebounds.

4. Rex Chapman tweeted before the game that Calipari will leave to coach the Lakers this offseason. Calipari dismissed the idea after the game.

5. UConn guard Shabazz Napier will leave the school with two national title rings. Is he the best player in UConn history?

6. UConn coach Kevin Ollie has a national title in just his second season as a head coach.

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Next Hoops Season, Just Focus On Your Team’s RPI And Ignore The Game-To-Game Analysis

see_the_big_picture_260The big picture.

In college basketball the big picture is all that matters.  Is your favorite team’s resume good enough to earn it an at-large bid into the NCAA Tournament?  The rest of it — the yo-yo, see-saw, roller-coaster, up and down, back and forth freak outs — is meaningless.

Don’t believe us?  OK, then how many Kentucky fans do you think are still sweating the Wildcats’ 72-67 March 1st road loss to South Carolina?  Anyone?

Kentucky began the 2013-14 season with dreams of an undefeated season.  As those dreams quickly disappeared thanks to November and December losses to Michigan State, Baylor and North Carolina, Big Blue Nation had a Big Blue Conniption.  From messageboards to Twitter, John Calipari was taken to task for not getting the most out of what was basically the world’s best AAU team.  So what if Coach Cal’s players were young and green?  Many UK backers simply weren’t accepting excuses (even legitimate ones).

Things only got worse as the Cats proved themselves to be inconsistent throughout SEC play.  There were two losses to Arkansas.  There was the South Carolina disaster.  There was a 3-4 stretch to end the regular season.  There also was a tie for second place in the SEC with Georgia.

That’s not at all what Kentucky fans and most media members expected to see as the regular season transitioned into tourney season.

Yet here we are, once again reminded that tourney season is really the only season that matters when it comes to college basketball.  The regular season is nothing more than a means of selecting 68 teams for the NCAA Tournament.  The regular-season games themselves?  They mean zip.  Kentucky lost three times to Florida this year.  But who’s in the national title game?  Kentucky, not Florida.

Tennessee lost to a seven-man Vanderbilt squad and lost twice to Texas A&M.  But the Vols still got into the tournament, they reached the Sweet Sixteen and they were just three missed free throws from reaching the Elite Eight.  The regular season that so angered the “Bring Back Bruce” crowd in Knoxville really meant little by season’s end.  The Vols did what they had to do to get in the field and then they took advantage of matchups to keep playing long after Kansas, Ohio State, Duke and Syracuse went home (despite those schools having better regular seasons).

Florida had a magnificent regular season losing just twice.  They were undefeated in SEC play and then they took their in-league record to a sizzling 21-0 in the SEC Tournament.  They were given the top overall seed in the NCAA Tournament.  But the Gators drew a bad matchup in the national semifinal game and fell to UConn, one of the two teams that beat UF back in the regular season.  So for all those regular-season wins and that top overall seed, UF will still be watching tonight’s championship game along with 349 other D-I schools.

At MrSEC.com, we vow never to go too overboard over the seeding implications of regular-season wins and losses, either.  Once a team is in the field, it’s all a question of matchups.  Matchups mean more than seeds.  Kentucky and UConn were seeded eighth and seventh in their respective regions.  One 10 seed and two 11 seeds reached the Sweet Sixteen this year.  One 11 seed (Dayton) advanced all the way to the Elite Eight.  And obviously none of the 1 seeds made it to tonight’s title bout.

So next basketball season, follow our lead and focus only on three things from November to March:

 

1.  What is my team’s RPI?

2.  What is my team’s strength of schedule?

3.  How close to 20 wins are we and do we still have time to hit that mark?

 

It’s all about being good enough to earn one of the 36 at-large bids handed out by the selection committee.  And all things being equal, that means your favorite squad will probably need to win 20 games, have an RPI inside the top 40 and a SOS rank of 100 or better.  Follow that.  Pay attention to that.  And get off the roller-coaster.

A December loss to North Carolina?  A march loss to South Carolina?  Unless one or the other prevents your team from winning 20 or ranking in the top 40 of the RPI… those regular-season games should be taken with a grain of salt.  It’s time to just admit that fact and focus on the big picture instead.

That’s what we do on this site each year.  And you can bet we’re going to keep doing it moving forward.

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Bielema: Arkansas RB Collins Isn’t Transferring

alex-collinsArkansas running back Alex Collins isn’t going anywhere.  At least not according to head coach Bret Bielema who called social media “reports” that Collins would leave “completely clueless, baseless and senseless.”  

The sophomore-to-be finished seventh in the SEC last season in rushing yards per game with 85.5.  Overall he carried the ball 190 times for 1,026 yards and four touchdowns.  He earned SEC Freshman of the Year honors for his efforts.

But rumors have swirled that Collins might not be happy in Fayetteville, might be facing a multi-game suspension, and might be interested in transferring closer to his South Florida home.  You might recall that on Signing Day 2013 Collins’ mother raised a stink about her son going so far from home to attend college and play football.  Also, Collins was one of nine UA players suspended earlier this offseason, though no specific reason was given.

Bielema said Saturday — as he shot down those transfer rumors — that Collins has “really grown as a person.”  He added:

 

I think the thing about him is he’s had so much success in life, when he had a bump in the road he had a tendency to try to do things his own way.  And he had to learn how to do the things the way we are here.  I couldn’t be more pleased with where he’s at.  He had to grow a lot.  He had to earn respect from some of his teammates.  He’s doing that bit by bit now.”

 

Collins was part of a one-two punch at running back for the Razorbacks last season.  Junior-to-be Jonathan Williams finished with 150 carries, 900 yards and four touchdowns.

If Arkansas is to improve on it’s 3-9 (0-8 in the SEC) 2013 season, it will need Collins in the fold and on the field.

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Saban Liking His 2014 Alabama Team So Far

gfx-they-said-it4When you win a national championship, it’s only natural to become a bit complacent.  When you win two in a row, it’s even easier to take the foot off the accelerator.  ”We got this,” the mind assures.

So it was little wonder that Nick Saban’s 2013 team — a squad going for a third crown in a row — failed to improve after an emotional win over LSU.  ”We got this,” they must have thought.  Instead, Auburn got them on the weirdest final play this side of a Cal/Stanford game.  And then Oklahoma got all over the Crimson Tide in a Sugar Bowl rout.

This year’s Bama players have no reason to believe they can just roll their helmets out onto the turf scaring their foes into a pregame surrender.  And one scrimmage into spring practice, Nick Saban says he likes his team’s attitude:

 

“I thought that for the first scrimmage (on Saturday), I was really pleased with the effort and intensity that the players had.  I really like the attitude of this team, in terms of how they go about what they try to do, how they word and the effort they give, the mental and physical toughness they play with.  A lot of guys come out and be conscientious to do a good job, and I think it shows in the way we play and the way we compete.”

 

That’s about as effusive as Saban gets when it comes to praise.  Let’s see if Saban is still just as happy when the curtain falls on his team’s spring drills.

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A Cliche About Kentucky’s Hoops Team That Needs To Be Retired

tina-fey-eye-rollI’m not sure how many times I’ve heard this one since Kentucky bounced Wisconsin from the NCAA Tournament on Saturday.  Ten times?  Twenty?  Thirty?

“Well, they’re not freshmen anymore,” says Fan X, Guest Analyst Y, or Show Host Z.  Yeah, OK.  I get the point.  Kentucky’s kids have played 39 games to date so they’re no longer completely green.

But here’s why that stock phrase needs to be retired — The sophomores of the world are not sophomores, either.

Yes, John Calipari’s freshmen have gained experience, but they still have less experience than the sophomores, juniors and seniors they face on a nightly basis.  That fact, in effect, does mean they should be designated as having less experience and the word “freshman” covers that ground quite nicely.

Kentucky’s run to tonight’s championship game with Connecticut has required late-game heroics and last-second shots time and again.  It just might be that their youthful outlook — their lack of experience — has helped them advance.  They seem unfazed by pressure… perhaps because they’re too green to worry.

So let’s all please nix the “they’re no longer freshmen” cliche.  Even 39 games into the season, UK’s freshmen still have less experience than several key UConn players they’ll face tonight — senior Shabazz Napier, juniors Ryan Boatright and DeAndre Daniels, etc.  That’s no knock.  It’s just a fact.

A fact that makes Calibari’s work with his latest bunch of youngsters pretty damn impressive.

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SEC Headlines 4/7/2014

headlines-monSEC Football

1. Report: Alabama cornerback Eddie Jackson suffered a torn ACL during Saturday’s scrimmage.

2. Here are five storylines to watch entering the final two weeks of Alabama’s spring practice.

3. Alabama’s running backs “have really had good springs so far,” according to Nick Saban.

4. Auburn cornerback Jonathan Jones needs to stay healthy to be able to help the Tigers.

5. Talented wide receiver Ricky Seals-Jones is the latest Texas A&M player to be arrested.

6. Athlon Sports put together an All-SEC team from the BCS Era.

Kentucky vs UConn

7. The script for Kentucky to reach the finals has been unlikely. The Wildcats can still have a happy ending.

8. Kentucky center Willie Cauley-Stein said it’s “heartbreaking” that he won’t be able to play against UConn.

9. It will be a tale of two backcourts going into tonight’s matchup.

10. Seth Davis is certain Kentucky will beat UConn. He thinks.

11. A rebound by Saint Joseph’s could have prevented UConn’s incredible run from ever happening.

SEC Basketball

12. The disappointing finish doesn’t define the journey for Florida, writes Pat Dooley.

13. There are plenty of questions to be answered now that Florida’s season is over.

SEC/NFL Draft

14. Wide receiver Jarvis Landry is preparing for LSU’ Pro Day on Wednesday.

Extra

15. Former Auburn coach Gene Chizik doesn’t appear too impressed with his daughter’s prom date in this photo.

16. “Why are all student-athletes still being considered equal?” That’s what Dan Wetzel wants to know.

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SEC Headlines 4/6/2014

headlines-sun3-150x150SEC Football

1. South Carolina tight end Rory Anderson tears tricep muscle Saturday.  Recovery time depends on whether it’s partial or complete tear.

2. Missouri defensive lineman Matt Hoch  will undergo surgery for a broken bone in his ankle.

3. Freshman quarterback Brandon Harris the star of LSU’s spring game.

4. Ole Miss had its spring game Saturday.  Coach Hugh Freeze: “I know beyond a shadow of a doubt … that we’re a better football team than we were two years ago, than we were last year.”

5. No spring game for Texas A&M this year because of Kyle Field renovation.  Aggies wrap up spring drills on Saturday.

6. Georgia quarterback Hutson Mason on Saturday’s scrimmage: “We came out with a lot more passion and energy.”

7. Following Saturdays’ scrimmage, Alabama coach Nick Saban mentions three quarterbacks - Blake Sims, Cooper Batemen and Alec Morris.  ”So those three guys have sort of emerged as the three guys that look like they’re the most ready to play.”

8. Mississippi State quarterback Dak Prescott only completed 13 passes Saturday but four of them were for touchdowns.

9. Arkansas quarterback Brandon Allen impressive in the Razorbacks Saturday scrimmage.

10. Coach Butch Jones on the performance of Tennessee’s quarterbacks.  “All four [QBs] did some good things, but there’s also a lot of things that need to be corrected in a hurry.”

11. Lou Holtz addressed the Auburn team Friday.  Coach Gus Malzahn: “I consider him a friend.”

12. Kentucky defensive end Alvin “Bud” Dupree:  ”I’m much more confident in myself than I was at this time last year.

SEC Basketball

13. Auburn football and Kentucky basketball - “some of the most memorable clutch performances in SEC history – all in the same academic year.”

14. No trip anytime soon to the barber for a Florida student.  Vows to not cut hair until Gators win national title.

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