Tuesday, October 3, 2023

Final Four Looks Bright for the SEC

Photo courtesy of Google
Photo courtesy of Google

The Southeastern Conference plays a big part in this year’s Final Four in North Texas. Half the field coming out of the SEC.
Three weeks ago most people expected that the No.1 Florida Gators would be playing for another national title under Billy Donovan. Looking at the other side of the bracket, not to many basketball experts would have selected coach John Caiipari’s Kentucky Wildcats to still be dancing.
During the regular season, Kentucky really fell short of its preseason No. 1 ranking. At home inside Rupp Arena, the Wildcats did well, but on the road the freshmen-led Kentucky team struggled.
On Saturday night, Kentucky faces their toughest matchup in the tournament to date in the Wisconsin Badgers. The other game showcases the Florida Gators and the Connecticut Huskies with both games televised on TBS.
Both television markets hope to see an all SEC final for the national title on Monday night. Kentucky, because of their freshman makeup, and mid-season swoon, appears to be the true cinderella story in the tournament and the lowest seed in the Final Four. But The Wisconsin badgers, with their lunchpail style and lack of a Final-4 track record might also be a good fit for Cindy’s fairytale slippers.
Most of the country, that’s not in the Southeast doesn’t want another SEC championship. SEC dominance in football, and now basketball, may have turned the rest of the country to the “Anybody but Florida and Kentucky” bracket.Their money will be on UCONN and Wisconsin in both games.
But the SEC sees big dividends in an all-SEC final matchup. With a new network devoted to the SEC launching in August, wall-to-wall SEC hoops this spring could pave the way for a successful start and ratings-earning national prominence in two sports
The 24/7 network will be dedicated to every sport all the time inside the conference. It’s a 20-year partnership with ESPN announced last summer by SEC Commissioner Mike Slive.
The network will carry coverage of SEC sports along with the news/analysis programs and other content that focus’s on SEC member schools.
—Adam Brown, HottyToddy.com, sports editor