February 10, 2010 12:52:00 PM
A season ago, the Southeastern Conference had three teams make the men''s NCAA tournament.
A stacked SEC East may change that this season.
With Kentucky, Tennessee and Vanderbilt all ranked in the top 25 of the ESPN/USA Today and Associated Press polls, the East is in decent shape to send three, maybe more, to the tournament.
The disparity between the East and West this season is glaring, as the East holds a 17-4 edge against West opponents this season. Plus, all of the SEC''s ranked teams are in the East.
Despite the West''s record against East teams, Mississippi State coach Rick Stansbury doesn''t buy the notion that the SEC is a one-division league.
"I''ve seen that stat, but you''ve got to ask ''where are most of those games being played? At home or away?''" Stansbury said Monday. "No question, Kentucky is awful, awful good. Florida is good, Tennessee and Vanderbilt, but I think any team in the West is capable of beating a team from the East."
ESPN.com''s Joe Lunardi, who runs the Web site''s Bracketology to predict the tournament field, has five SEC teams making the field. Ole Miss is the only team from the West projected to receive a bid.
Vanderbilt coach Kevin Stallings said the East isn''t just the jewel of the SEC, it''s a national dynamo.
"We think the East is probably the toughest division in all of college basketball," Stallings said. "I don''t think we''re just four deep; all six teams in our division are very good. Our division is a very tough one every year seems like. This year is no exception. We have good teams in both divisions, though the East seems to be ahead."
League coaches can''t point to a reason or difference in styles between the teams in each division. With Arkansas'' mid-season explosion following the return of guard Courtney Fortson, John Pelphrey''s Razorbacks have taken a half-game lead against Ole Miss at the top of the West.
Depth is one area that factors into the lopsided inter-division mark. Kentucky''s rise to the top of the East has played a part in the conference''s improved overall win percentage compared to last season, but from top to bottom the East leads in league wins and overall wins.
"It''s very unique that you can have an entire division get better," Stallings said. "It''s hard for me to overstate how competitive and tough it is every year because of the quality of coaches. It''s just that competitive."
The East boasts the league''s leading scorer in Devan Downey and fifth-place South Carolina, which beat then No. 1-ranked Kentucky. The West has two teams -- LSU and Auburn -- responsible for eight inter-division losses.
Tennessee coach Bruce Pearl, who said he holds a winning percentage "a little bit over .500" against West teams, has seen it all before.
"I think during the regular season, the last four or five years the East has had the advantage, but probably more so this year more than any other year," Pearl said Monday. "I thought from the very beginning that the SEC East would get five teams in the NCAA tournament. I just didn''t know which five. I think it''s just a function of the strength of all those programs."
Five teams -- Vanderbilt, Kentucky, Tennessee, Ole Miss, and Florida -- are ranked in the RPI top 50, according to realtimerpi.com.
The SEC is fourth in conference RPI behind the ACC, Bid 12 and leader Big East.
The conference has held steady overall, while a traditionally strong league like the Pac-10, eighth in conference RPI, could suffer the same NCAA tournament bid disappointment that the SEC did last season.
ghd iv pure styler commented at 3/2/2010 3:00:00 AM:
We supply that wholesales all kinds cheap ghd hair straightener and ceramic hair irons are believed to be more gentle on the hair.discount chi hair straightener.on line.Our chi flat iron,Avatar is a 2009 American science fiction film written and directed by James Cameron ghd iv dark styler,Humans are engaged in mining Pandora's reserves of a precious mineral,wholesale ghd iv hot pink styler,are popular all over the world with high quality, competitive price, fast delivery.ghd iv purple styling set shop online for genuine & authentic hair straingtener,. It is an ideal tool for all your creative styling and finishing needs ghd mk4 black styler. Achieve a variety of looks and styles,ghd mk4 gold styler Welcome to visite our website. http://www.ghdhairon.com/
ghd iv pure styler commented at 3/2/2010 3:04:00 AM:
we are Professional with the highest quality service.on-line manufacturer supplies that wholesales all kinds ghd mk4 gold styler,These cheaper coatings wear off very quickly and cause more damage to the hair ghd hair straightener is the world's famous brands and wholesale chi hair straightener. Our cheap chi flat iron,To give consumers convenient discount ghd iv dark styler,at the same time care of everyone's hair.ghd mk4 black styler,Its use is very simple,in case of leakage will automatically power off to protection of everyone's personal safety ghd iv purple styling set.are popular all over the world with high quality,When the temperature reaches a maximum ghd hot pink iv styler,it will not stop flashing the lights, reminding everyone.competitive price,In addition, the design was very nice, very lightweight.fast delivery.Dry autumn, is the hair of the most vulnerable physiological periods.shop online for,Welcome to visite our website. http://www.hairupstyler.com/
1. Columbus High moving to fill coaching vacancies HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
2. New Hope standout Johnson signs with East Tennessee State COLLEGE SPORTS
3. Excitement abounds as Starkville HIgh is set to name Woods new coach HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
4. MSU men's basketball adds four-star prospect Holman COLLEGE SPORTS
5. Shaw picks up pace in Limited Late Model race LOCAL SPORTS