SEC race as hot as ever
Tennessee went undefeated in SEC play last season
until the league tournament, which ultimately was won by Vanderbilt. Then in the NCAA Tournament, the SEC again showed its pedigree.
Tennessee and LSU reached the Final Four. No. 7 seed Ole Miss made one of the best "runs"of the NCAA Tournament, defeating defending national champion Maryland, the No. 2 seed, and third-seeded Oklahoma. What stopped Ole Miss? Another SEC team, of course: top-seeded Tennessee.
And Georgia made the Sweet 16, losing to higher-seeded Purdue.
If you're looking for the usual suspects for 2007, you'll find them. The coaches' preseason poll has Tennessee (of course) picked to win the league, with the rest of the top six predicted to be LSU, Georgia, Vanderbilt, Auburn and Kentucky.
Center Sylvia Fowles is back for what should be a dominant senior season
and let's hope a more peaceful one for all the LSU players. They had to endure Pokey Chatman's resignation and the accompanying speculation about "why" as they made another run to the Final Four.
Van Chancellor took over as coach in Baton Rouge, and perhaps he can do at LSU what he never was quite able to do in his tenure at Ole Miss: make a Final Four. He certainly got a lot of experience in winning championships, though, while he was in the WNBA with the Houston Comets.
Kentucky thought it had its long-term coach locked up in Mickie DeMoss until her "retirement," which was actually a return to being an assistant, this time at Texas. Matthew Mitchell, who started as a grad assistant at Tennesssee, then became an assistant at Florida and Kentucky, is now the Kentucky head coach.
He spent the last two seasons as head coach at Morehead State, and his previous experience climbing the ropes in the SEC really helped position him for the Kentucky job.
-- ESPN.com's Mechelle Voepel