USA Today unveiled its preseason top 25 men’s basketball poll today and Tony Barbee won’t like the results. How could his fellow coaches who vote have placed just two SEC teams — “The best basketball league in the country, period.” — in the top 25?
First, the good news: The SEC has two top 10 teams. In fact, Kentucky is ranked #1 while Florida comes in at #8.
Now, the bad news: No other SEC team is ranked. Not one. None. Zip. Zilch.
Memphis, Gonzaga, Virginia Commonwealth, Wichita State, and New Mexico are among those ranked.
Tennessee received enough votes to come in at #30 if the poll dropped that far. But Creighton got more votes than the Vols.
Harvard, Boise State, St. Louis, and LaSalle all got more votes than Missouri, the SEC’s next best club (according to the voters).
Temple received more votes (four) than LSU (two) or Georgia (one).
If the SEC is to live up to Barbee’s puffery, a lot of teams will have to rise up and surprise their fellow hoops coaches. Right now, the league is picking up where it left off last season… and that’s not a good thing.