When the Auburn Tigers made their hiring of Bruce Pearl as the head basketball coach, it marked a good thing for the SEC in men’s college basketball.
The SEC got three teams, including the Tennessee Volunteers in tonight’s play-in game, into this year’s tournament for the second year in a row. It’s nowhere near as high as it could be and should be.
This comes at the same time as the conference getting a whopping EIGHT teams into the women’s basketball tournament.
In the 2013 college baseball tournament, the conference saw eight teams selected for the postseason. A year before, the number was eight, too.
Ever since Bruce Pearl was forced to leave his post at Tennessee due to the show-cause penalty, it’s been a struggle for SEC basketball in the postseason. The conference got rid of divisions in basketball to try and protect their top four teams when it came to trying to get bids for the tournament. This clearly has not worked.
As good as the SEC is in college football, college baseball, and yes, even women’s college basketball, the conference is lagging behind the other power conferences such as the ACC, Big 10, Big 12, and PAC-12. The SEC can’t call itself the best conference when it is faltering in college basketball. It has to improve.
Look at the SEC Media Days. The media goes crazy over the football coaches and players that are there and it goes on for about two or three days. But college basketball doesn’t quite get the same love at the first set of media days. Outside of John Calipari, very few people are interested in basketball at that time. The focus is all on football. I’m not taking anything away from football but things have got to change.
The other schools have got to start treating their teams with the support that they deserve instead of using it as that time between the end of the football season and start of spring practice in football.