Wiedmer: Vanderbilt has become the best team in the SEC

KNOXVILLE -- The coach of the best basketball team in the Southeastern Conference could finally smile late Wednesday night.

"This was a fun one to win," said Vanderbilt's Kevin Stallings after the Commodores' 85-76 road victory over Tennessee. "But this league is so tough. We get finished with this one and now we've got to play that one (at Kentucky)."

Stallings is right that a 5-0 SEC record (16-3 overall) does not guarantee an NCAA bid. Kentucky started 5-0 in league play a year ago and wound up in the NIT. But the Commodores aren't coached by Billy Gillispie, either.

Now in his 11th season, Stallings has already guided Vandy to three NCAA appearances in the last six seasons, including two Sweet 16 appearances.