Thursday, March 5, 2009
Behind The Scoreboard
Teams jockey for position
If you are a dedicated SEC fan and have been looking to spot a few SEC teams in the top 25 you probably will have to use a magnifying glass.
SEC participants in the elite corps, to dredge up an old phrase, are “scarcer than hen’s teeth.” And we all know that it is going-down-to-the-wire time.
The SEC is not alone in feeling the drought. There are other conferences facing the same dilemma. What do the teams do to gain the nod of the tournament selection committee if there is no national ranking hanging around the name? From this weekend’s play, the answer is obvious – beat up on each other.
Teams are jockeying for positions within their respective conferences in hopes of making the cut. How one arrives at that particular niche in the ensuing playoffs has been known to curry favor when the committee starts inking in names. Some which have enjoyed high rankings during parts of the season are finding that they don’t necessarily have a lock on a slot. One can easily use UConn for an example (though I am sure the Huskies would rather one didn’t). They had the numero uno tag for a number of weeks and were just recently deposed, now relegated to the second spot behind Pittsburgh. Both are stalwarts of the Big East.
There are also contenders from the Big Twelve, the Big Ten and the SEC. Yours truly found a ranking of 18 for LSU. I won’t shout this too loudly because the task of holding on to these spots has been flaky lately. However, the Tigers lead the West Division of the SEC and have a formidable record of 12-1 after beating Kentucky to clinch the SEC West and regular season title last week. This will probably get them a berth; however, it probably won’t be a number one. Last season the Tigers were not one of the six SEC teams in the mix. Last season the six were Arkansas, Mississippi State, Vanderbilt, Tennessee, Kentucky and Georgia. At this juncture their chances of joining a regional are slim to none. Yeah, I know, a sad state of affairs.
It is now time to hang myself out to dry again. It is late and perhaps a long shot, but yours truly is banking on the Memphis Tigers to ride their late surge into another number one regional ranking. Should I be proven wrong, then my daughter (Veronica Ann) made me do it. She works for the Tigers.
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