Georgia obviously is ahead of Georgia Tech in basketball right now.
But has the SEC also moved past the ACC?
When the NCAA tournament field was announced Sunday night, the SEC had more teams (five) in the bracket than the ACC (four — and that includes Clemson, which must play a preliminary round game against Alabama-Birmingham Tuesday).
The ACC has two of the top six teams in the country, Duke and North Carolina, according to RPI. But the conference was obviously down this season. The SEC is on the rise, led by the improvement at Georgia under coach Mark Fox.
This isn’t a debate about “tradition” but rather where things are at right now. After Kentucky beat Florida Sunday, and before the tournament field was announced, coach John Calipari said: “I hope, I really hope, that Georgia’s in. I really hope that Alabama’s in. I really do. This league is better than everybody wants to give it credit for. The coaching and the players are outstanding. And there were talking heads today — I usually don’t listen to Digger Phelps because he’s usually wrong — but he said that when those teams get in the tournament, they win games. And I’m telling you, we lost to both of those teams [Georgia and Alabama]. They will win games.”
(Postscript: Alabama didn’t get in, despite being Georgia in the final regular season game and in the conference tournament.)
Here are the two conference’s tournament teams, including RPI.
♦ ACC: Duke (5), North Carolina (6), Florida State (46), Clemson (57)
♦ SEC: Florida (10), Kentucky (12), Vanderbilt (26), Tennessee (36), Georgia (39).
Seems kind of obvious which conference is better right now, doesn’t it?
By Jeff Schultz