If the SEC compiled a “talk nice to me” The list of people who have reckoned their congress the papyrus scroll of names never seems to end. In modern terms, it wouldn’t fit into a TikTok video.
South Carolina turned into a tangled wire as the top team in the nation and the favorite to win their second straight title. Nobody suspected that. But while they’ve racked up conference victories by an average of 26.1 points per victory, chatter about the strength of the rest of the SEC has been constant. It’s a down year for the Securities and Exchange Commission. The competition is not high. How do you measure up a group of teams that have to play a team that is very much separated from the rest? Can they all really win in March?
The ball does not lie and neither do the results. The SEC is up 7-1 through the first round, led by No. 11 seed Mississippi State became the first quadruple team in tournament history to reach the second round. The Bulldogs were the first game in this NCAA Tournament, kicking off the postseason that could open up and Soon to be an SEC win.
Mississippi State’s Sam Purcell, a first-year head coach who spent nine years building Louisville’s program into a Final Four contender as assistant Jeff Walls, said his phone began exploding with messages after that first win.
“Do you know who it was? Every head coach in the SEC has been ousted from Illinois,” Purcell said. “We have a thread, and they’re all like, ‘Sam, you set the tone, man. Good luck.’ Which again, it’s a special conference because you have special people.”
A day after the Bulldogs’ lead, Purcell released his “Talk to Me Nice” list of athletes and chiefs (Present And former) whose team did not choose to win. It was a joke, but it was a parting shot for all those coaches on the floss.
We are as competitive in March as all of you. Maybe better.
Mississippi State (22-10, 9-7), ranked fifth in the SEC, was one of only four teams with a single-digit final margin against South Carolina this season. They rank in the top 50 in field goal and 3 point percentage, assists and blocks per game. After finishing fifth in the SEC regular season standings, they slid into the tournament as the seven-team conference final.
The Bulldogs pulled off an even bigger upset by upsetting the No. 6 Creighton, the mid-prime favorite, in the first round. They were 11-of-19 from 3-point range, tying a season-high for 3s. And their chances of making it to a second weekend have been strong since then No. 3 Notre Dame without point guard Olivia Miles and working as a short seat at Grenfell 1.
Ole Miss (24-8, 11-5) was the other SEC team to stay within striking distance of South Carolina, losing by 7 in overtime last month. The Rebels were ranked eighth in a must-go game either way. Instead, he crushed Ole Miss Gonzaga by 23 to meet Stanford at the Seattle 4.
Georgia (22-11, 9-7) joined them as double-digit winners, taking #7 Florida State to meet Iowa State in Seattle 4. At the top of the table, No. 1 South Carolina, No. 3 LSU and No. 4 Tennessee all got the job done. resoundingly on Friday. The only one of the seven teams not to be seeded 10th was Alabama with a 4-point loss to Baylor. The Crimson Tide went up, 22-4, in the first quarter, but couldn’t finish it.
The SEC has taken a back seat all season with every other Power Six conference turning to the wheel. There was the wild top-down competitiveness of the ACC, which went 6-2 in the first round. One of their losses was to the SEC team. “The Pac-12 After Dark,” as East Coast fans affectionately call it, featured upset all the way through the conference title game. They went 4-2.
The Big 12 – Well, maybe the SEC has always been above them. The conference put up a six team upset and went 3-3, including losses to No. 5 seed Iowa State and nearly No. 7 Baylor. The Big East felt the love behind UConn, but was 2-3 through the first round with all three lower seeds losing, including the L of the Bluejays.
The SEC was certainly no higher than the Big Ten, which had the most teams (four) seeded third or better and averaged the most points of any major conference. They went 5-2, once again one of the losses for an SEC team.
It’s hard to look away from a conference in which teams regularly score 80 points and five teams finish 15th in the category. Combined conference averages 74 ppg, 16.1 apg, 41.4% from the floor and 33.6% from 3-point range. even in explosions, There was always something and someone to watch.
While we’ve all marveled at the beauty of full field passes, beautiful ball movement, and 3-second volleys, we’ve forgotten the old adage that defense wins championships. Go ahead and ask South Carolina and Don Staley about it.
The Gamecocks (33-0) are ranked first in the defensive rankings (72.6), five SEC teams are ranked fifth in the category. LSU is 6th, Ole Miss is 15th, Mississippi State is 24th, and Georgia is 25th. Alabama is 78th and Tennessee, which has a #4 seed despite playing an incredibly tough schedule, is 127th.
Mississippi State was able to set the tone for the SEC because of its defense, which held Illinois nearly 20 points below its season average. It was 4 points from the lowest total for an Illini fighter this season. Georgia did the same keeping Florida State 15 below and Ole Miss kept Gonzaga 23 short of theirs.
No single group of games can truly determine the best conference. Not even a championship, as an unlucky match between styles can end a season. However, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has shown that it is not a falling year. He can win in March. And we all had to sweet-talk them so we didn’t risk hearing our names being called out in their TikTok hype video next season.