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Post All you need to know about the current state of SEC hoops

Sunday March 15, 2009

…is right there in the bracket.

Three bids. Three. Total. The Big East received three number one seeds.

Every single one of the SEC’s potential bubble teams – Kentucky, Florida, South Carolina, and Auburn – were excluded. And given the seed Mississippi State received for winning the conference tournament, it’s reasonable to conclude that they would have been the fifth SEC bubble team excluded had they not earned the automatic bid.

No SEC team earned a seed higher than LSU’s 8 seed, and even the regular season SEC champ is not likely to be much of a favorite against Butler. LSU is an 8, Tennessee is a 9 (and draws a hot Oklahoma State team), and Mississippi State sneaks in with a 13.

That Mississippi State team, at 23-12 and 13-7 against SEC teams, won the conference tournament and received a 13 seed, just slightly better than the 14 seed Georgia received last season with a 17-16 record and 12 conference losses.

Please don’t mistake any of the above for outrage. It’s the reality of SEC basketball right now that you take all of that in, think for a moment, and admit, “yep…that’s about right.” Let’s not forget that the SEC commissioner himself was in charge of the whole process. This was as good as it was going to get for the conference.

If there’s a silver lining and a Georgia angle to all of that, it has to be about the potential for pretty immediate results for the right coach. Georgia’s returning roster and current mindset is far from perfect, but in this environment of conference-wide mediocrity and imperfection how far would just a little bit of success and improvement go?

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