We’re living in Big Blue nation

Published 2:57 pm Tuesday, March 12, 2019

By Brad Greer

Sports Editor

With the college basketball regular season now over and March Madness at the doorstep, here are three things that would help the SEC hoops brand at this week’s conference tournament at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville.

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All the talk in the past week has been focused on LSU head coach Will Wade’s FBI wiretapping suspension. It hasn’t exactly shined a bright light on what’s been an impressive year in the SEC.

The good news for the conference is that a week of basketball has the ability to make us shift our attention from the whole mess in Baton Rouge.

The action in Nashville could have a variety of outcomes that could help or hurt the SEC’s attempt to rise to the ranks of the elite college basketball conferences.

Here are three ways the SEC would benefit this week in Nashville:

1. Alabama, Florida and Ole Miss all win. The bubble is loaded with SEC teams this season and those three are the ones firmly on it and in need of at least one or possible two wins to get them into the big dance.

The trio will all likely approach the weekend knowing what’s at stake and will hold the key to the SEC matching last year’s record-setting number of NCAA tournament teams with eight.

2. The LSU affect. If LSU would indeed win the tournament, as they did in the regular season, the internet would blow up by saying it was tainted and their banner should never go up.

And they would probably be correct. Seeing the Tigers winning now would be viewed as a program that cheated.

Understand the jury is waiting on the FBI wiretap recordings to be confirmed, but let’s be honest, it would turn into a back and forth fiasco between LSU and outside fan bases on whether the Tigers deserves to keep the conference title.

3. Kentucky losing would still help the SEC. I say “still’’ because just like last season when it looked like there was parity in the SEC, the ‘Cats slipped up and won the tournament for the fourth consecutive year.

Just like football with Alabama vs. the rest of the SEC, Kentucky losing is how the narrative changes. It’s amazing to think that the Wildcats have only missed one SEC tournament championship since John Calipari took over in Lexington.

It really has been “Kentucky and everyone else’” when it comes to the SEC  tournament. Maybe impressive runs by South Carolina and Florida squads serve as reminders that the ‘ Cats aren’t the only team that who had success in the NCAA tournament.

But still, it’s the Big Blue’s nation and we just live in it.