College Basketball Nation: SEC tournament

One of the loudest annual college hoops complaints comes during conference tournament time. Specifically, it comes from the SEC. The conference has long had divisions for its basketball schedule, and because teams are seeded in the conference tournament by division, the stronger SEC East's teams are punished while the weaker SEC West places mediocrity on some of the top seed lines. It's a horrible system, and it needs to go.

Good news, then: The SEC might do exactly that. From the Birmingham News:
[Commissioner Mike] Slive said the conference office will present ideas to coaches and athletics directors about a 12-team league without divisions and how to schedule. Most conferences don't have divisions in basketball, and there's a feeling by some that the SEC's structure gives a false picture of its best teams to the NCAA Tournament selection committee. [...] Slive said he has no preconceived notion about whether to scrap divisions. The catalyst to consider the possibility was having nationally-ranked teams play in the opening round of the SEC Tournament with better records than some teams on byes, he said.

I can't help but think the SEC is suffering from a bit of paralysis by analysis on this one; this really isn't a tough fix. You don't need to totally scrap divisions if you don't want to. You can merely change the way the SEC tournament is seeded. As long as that much goes by the wayside, and the SEC starts seeding its tournament top-to-bottom like every other league in college hoops, it would count as a vast improvement over the current model.

Get it done, SEC. The days of Ole Miss receiving a first-round by while Florida plays Vanderbilt should have been over long ago.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Maybe Kentucky has made all the jumpers it’s going to make this season.

But say this for the No. 2-ranked Wildcats: When they decide they’re going to guard you, good luck.

Kentucky held Tennessee scoreless in the final 6:10 of the first half and slugged its way to a 32-19 halftime lead in the first SEC tournament semifinal at Bridgestone Arena.

The Wildcats’ defense was suffocating, and the Vols didn’t get any easy looks. It was their lowest scoring half of the season. Making matters worse for Tennessee was that senior forward Wayne Chism only played 10 minutes in the first half after picking up two fouls.

Even off the court, Kentucky proved it can provide plenty of fireworks.

There were two different incidents on the bench in the first half. The first one came after freshman DeMarcus Cousins got mad and threw a towel during a timeout. Kentucky coach John Calipari stormed over to where he was sitting a few seconds later, got in his face and had a few choice words for him.

Just a couple of minutes later, it got even crazier. Freshman Daniel Orton lost his cool and started screaming at the Kentucky coaches. He then stormed off to the locker room (perhaps told to go) with a couple of Kentucky staff members in tow.

He was back a few seconds later, followed by assistant strength coach Scott Padgett, and slapped hands with Calipari.

Hey, call them Team Turmoil.

But, then, that’s what you get sometimes with freshmen. If the Wildcats keep playing defense like this, Calipari can probably live with some of the childishness.

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