Southeastern Conference basketball is a thing of beauty, it doesn’t make much sense as we saw on Saturday, but it’s by far the most rewarding conference for College Basketball. I mean, other than the Big 10, what other conference has 14 schools that could win their conference tournament in a few weeks? The answer is zero. Saturday proved just that, as we saw Kentucky go into Knoxville and throttle the Big Orange, Mississippi States stunning road victory over Ole Miss, and Vanderbilt hanging close with the Crimson Tide setting up for an exciting game.
As we inch closer to the SEC Tournament in Nashville, the action on the hardwood will just be heating up. Right now, we have teams like Arkansas and Kentucky who are red hot and smoking at the perfect time. The mere mention of Arkansas and Kentucky in the same sentence gets most College Basketball fans excited for what’s to come.
Then you add in the mention of programs like Alabama, Tennessee, and Missouri? Are you kidding me? SEC Basketball is only seeing a small portion of the mountaintop right now and, that’s evident on the hardwood any given night. Not only do the top teams have a chance at winning the SEC Tournament, but every single program in the conference can make a legitimate argument as to why their school will win the SEC Tournament in Nashville.
However, the Southeastern Conference has not always been this way. For a long time, SEC Basketball success had only come to programs like Kentucky, Arkansas, Florida, and sometimes Tennessee. Not long ago, the SEC was a three-bid league and only had a small handful of teams who could win the SEC Tournament. The recent success would not have been made possible without the work of Greg Sankey.
Sankey implemented several new rules for the programs to follow, which helped grow SEC Basketball to what it is today. Sankey also had a hand in improving the Head Coaches hires in the SEC. For example, Auburn hired Bruce Pearl, who has taken them to the Final Four, Ole Miss has hired Kermit Davis, Tennessee hires Rick Barnes, and so on. Those hires and many more across the SEC helped with making the league into what it is today.
With just three weeks left in the regular season, it’s easy for SEC basketball fans of any program to be excited about their team’s chances in the upcoming SEC Tournament in Nashville. The 2021 SEC Tournament is shaping out to be one of the best tournaments we have ever seen. It’s been a long time coming, but once those games are tipped-off, all eyes will be turned to Bridgestone Arena in downtown Nashville, Tennessee for, the most exciting SEC Tournament in history.