As we enter 2018 a change in college basketball is upon us, the SEC has become a basketball conference. A conference that has long been the staple of football championships is quickly changing into hoops dominance. In the latest college basketball poll we saw 4 SEC teams in the top 25, Kentucky, Arkansas, Tennessee and Texas A&M currently sit in the hierarchy of college basketball. I intend to wake you up to the idea that at years end we could see a new dominate conference.
While their may only be 4 teams in the top 25 the depth of this conference will soon be seen by all. Mississippi State and Auburn currently sit at 13-1 while teams like Georgia, Alabama and last years tournament darling South Carolina continue to rise up the polls. Perennial power basketball conferences like the ACC, Big 12 and Big 10 will have their dominate team, but none can match the depth of the SEC.
John Calipari’s arrival in Lexington put a hold on the top of the division for the last three years but we are beginning to see a changing of the guard. Missouri Basketball went out and hired famed recruiter/Head Coach Cuonzo Martin whom immediately made an impact by recruiting prosepect Michael Porter Jr. Porter Jr’s unfortunate injury has caused Missouri to have regression in his first year but the rest of the league is aware of his ability to bring talent in. Alabama made a similar statement bringing in for NBA Star Avery Johnson in to revitalize a program that hasn’t seen much success, Johnson’s hire brought in prized recruit Colin Sexton whom could by years end be the best point guard in college basketball. Despite the controversy, Bruce Pearl has begun to turn around the Auburn program a team projected to win only 4 games in the SEC took down ranked Tennessee on Tuesday night in Knoxville.
The depth of the SEC is real, while former powerhouse conferences the ACC, Big12 and Big10 are top heavy the SEC has multiple teams that can can make an impact come tournament time. As we watch the conference play unfold in 2018 we will see the growth of these programs, it is not far fetched to potentially see 8-10 SEC teams enter March Madness, all with the potential to make a run. While we can fight the idea of the SEC being a new power conference these teams are not going anywhere and the conference as a whole is now a force to be dealt with for many years to come.