On Monday, April 11th, SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey spoked at the annual Associated Press Sports Editors’ southeast regional meeting about the recent NCAA tournament. He voiced his displeasure with 3 of the 12 schools in the SEC being selected to play. This happened for the third time in the last four seasons.
“I think we could just kind of bottom-line it: We have a greater level of expectation of ourselves than three teams playing in the NCAA tournament,” Sankey said. “Look at every other sport that we sponsor: Women’s basketball had nine; I think there are 10 in baseball that are viable for postseason; probably the same in softball. Volleyball, soccer, go down the list.”
Sankey made hires to even improve the basketball product for the SEC. One of the hired people, Greg Shaheen, former NCAA VP that was integral for the selection process of the tournament, helped with scheduling issues and raising the RPI for teams
But when it comes down to is the actual games. The three teams, Vanderbilt, Kentucky, and Texas A&M were eliminated by the Sweet 16. Teams like Georgia and Alabama could have been selected but their RPI numbers were weak. The teams need to play better opponents, no question.
With new coaches at Alabama, Florida, Mississippi State, and Vanderbilt, Sankey is optimistic about the future. Hopefully more stellar recruits will choose SEC over other conferences like the Big 12, ACC, and the Big East. The answer is unknown know, but maybe Sankey will get his expectations met next season.