SEC trying to rebound
AP — With Kentucky once again leading the way, the football powerhouse Southeastern Conference is trying to reclaim that status in basketball after a mostly desolate postseason.
The Wildcats — and 10 other SEC teams — were shut out of the NCAA tournament last season. Now, the coaches are predicting a resurgence, and John Calipari’s newest crop of highly touted recruits appear to be at the forefront.
It can’t get much worse for either the league or Kentucky, thanks to that program’s unforgiving standards.
Florida was the only one of the three SEC participants to survive the NCAA tournament’s first weekend. That poor performance came four years after SEC teams went 1-3 in the tournament but was still unusual.
Thus came the league’s offseason focus on enhancing NCAA resumes, including tougher nonconference schedules.
“We need to have eight teams every year in the conversation,” Calipari said Wednesday at SEC media days. “You have to have anywhere from five to eight teams in the NCAA tournament every year. It’s a responsibility for all of us.