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Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Update: Hoops coaches vote to (basically) eliminate divisions

DESTIN, Fla. – The SEC men’s basketball coaches have recommended that the league essentially stop using divisions, and the move is expected to be formally approved Friday.

The schedule will remain the same for the upcoming season. But the league standings will not be broken into East and West anymore, and the tournament will be seeded 1-12, with the top four getting byes, regardless of division.

“I think we’re tired of our league being presented as two different ones,” said Georgia head coach Mark Fox, who favored the move.

In the meantime, the SEC will also study future scheduling, under the assumption that the old division model (two each vs. fellow division foes, one each against the other division) will no longer exist.

“The issue comes down to, if you look at last year, Tennessee got in the tournament with an 8-8 record and Alabama was left out at 12-4. And they get listed in a (separate) set of standings,” Fox said.

SEC commissioner Mike Slive, a former chairman of the NCAA selection committee, felt it was a good move for the league.

“I’m pleased that we’ve come to this conclusion,” Slive said. “I think it’s better for SEC basketball.”

The move still has to be approved by the league’s athletics directors on Friday. But all indications were that the recommendation by the coaches would carry the measure through.

"I would hope so," Slive said. "But I don't vote."

Slive said expanding the schedule to 18 games, or even more, would be on the study list for the future, and could happen for the 2012-13 season.

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