Most teams are five games into the Southeastern Conference basketball slate, and as expected, we’re well into one of the most memorable seasons in the history of SEC basketball. From two Final Four contenders in Kentucky and Auburn and six other programs who have the potential to make a deep run in March. It’s the type of year for the Southeastern Conference that could forever shape the way people view SEC Basketball.
You see, for years, Southeastern Conference basketball was weak; it was a top-heavy league with very little fan support from across the entire conference. That was until Commissioner Sankey made some crucial changes to how schools approached both men’s and women’s basketball, which translated over to the success we see today.
Saturday night in Oxford, Mississippi, was a prime example of how far SEC Basketball has come in the last several years. It was a road game at Ole Miss for the Auburn Tigers, but it felt like a home game for the visiting team due to the number of Auburn fans in attendance. There’s a newfound love for the fans of the SEC and their basketball program in the old days; only Kentucky fans would pack out arenas across the southeast. Now, it’s a new era of SEC basketball where fans from across the conference are buying basketball tickets in bulk just for the chance to see their respected school take the hardwood.
So what’s different, and why is it every week there seems to be an elevated level of intensity in every matchup? It all starts with the investment each school has put into their programs by hiring high-level coaches like Rick Barnes at Tennessee, Kermit Davis at Ole Miss, Bruce Pearl at Auburn, and so on, and so on until the end of time.
From there, the recruiting across the board has gotten a lot better, which shows on the court of play. Sure, not everybody can out recruit Kentucky, Auburn, or Tennessee. However, the playing field across the entire Southeastern Conference has leveled out, making for more of an exciting brand of basketball that we see every night in the SEC. On any given night though anybody can, and will beat anybody else in the conference despite the pedigree on the favorite of the matchup, and that’s what makes SEC basketball so special.
As another season of SEC basketball progresses, enjoy it, enjoy every single second of it. The current state of SEC Basketball is only the beginning, and soon like their counterparts on the football field, the SEC will be the gold standard in College Basketball. You Might as well buckle up and enjoy the ride, moments like these don’t happen often in College Basketball, and when they do, it’s spectacular to behold and enjoy.