The NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament Selection Committee said it doesn’t take conferences into account when drawing up the field of 65 teams.
But it’s clear that SEC commissioner Mike Slive, a third-year member of the committee, brought home the bacon. Five bids is a fair number for a league that was second nationally in RPI.
The committee stayed true to its word the past two weeks. Conference tournaments mattered.
UCLA slipped from a No. 1 to a No. 2 seed because it lost its first game in the Pac-10 Tournament.
Florida moved up to a No. 1 seed in the Midwest and the top-overall seed in the tournament by dominating the SEC Tournament.
Arkansas played itself into the tournament by reaching the conference finals, which in effect saved coach Stan Heath’s job.
Kentucky, Vanderbilt and Tennessee round out the SEC fab five, but all eyes will be on the Gators in their attempt to become the first team since Duke in 1992 to repeat at national champions.