Bruce Pearl’s hiring is good for SEC Basketball


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.
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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.

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  • diverdown48

    There is another sport that is played in the SEC which was at one time called America’s Pass time. Can you say baseball. The SEC always does well in that other sport. No doubt Bruce Pearl is a welcome addition to the SEC even though I am not an Auburn fan unless they are playing outside the conference.
    The NIT is still a post season tournament that draws a lot of viewers. As of today, March 20, 2014 the SEC with four teams is 4-0 with Georgia, Arkansas, LSU and Missouri winning.
    The NCAA is not a reliable bellwether of the best teams playing in their tournament by any stretch of the imagination. Aside from the biases of the selection committee automatic bids are a nuisance. East Podunk is 5-29 with 3 of their wins coming in the conference tournament. They are in because of the automatic bids. Whereas the regular season champion that is 29-5 is playing in the NIT. The NIT picks the best teams available. Can you count the number of times a school with a losing record made it into the NCAA by getting lucky aka hot in their conference tournament.
    The NIT could improve its draw if their early games were in regions. Even teams from the same conference in the first game would be ok. It is possible that Arkansas will play LSU in their bracket if they win one more game. Talk about a packed house of hogs aka those Rabid Razorbacks if no 3 seed Arkansas plays no 5 seed LSU. A conference game in the NIT. Very cool.
    The regions, the west, the Midwest, the south and the north could have their brackets filled with teams from their region. The LSU-Arkansas matchups would be common. Fans might travel a couple hundred miles versus a thousand or more to see their favorite team and favorite players one more time.
    The SEC has teams that did not make the tournament that if they got in and hot could be in the final four. That is true for other big time conferences as well.
    Anyway, Welcome Bruce to the “most storied conference” in America.