No single gesture may better illustrate how deeply Southeastern Conference basketball coaches want to do away with two divisions than Auburn coach Tony Barbee showing sympathy for archrival Alabama's exclusion from last spring's NCAA tournament.
During an SEC coaches' teleconference Monday morning, Barbee said, "There's no way if we were one division last year that [Alabama's] out of the NCAA tournament after finishing second in the SEC."Follow @ClevelandTN
Yet despite winning the league's weaker West Division, the Crimson Tide went to the National Invitation Tournament while five SEC East teams - Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Tennessee and Vanderbilt - went into the 68-team NCAA bracket.
And Bama won its only regular-season league meetings against Georgia, Kentucky and Tennessee to finish with a better record than all but the Gators.