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Muscle Shoals
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Albertville
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Fort Payne

SEC basketball: It just means less

We’re just a football school!
Why couldn’t everybody be cool?
SEC b-ball teams ain’t goin’ anywhere!
– ‘Just Stop Believing’ by (not) Journey

There is no joy in Mudville, Auburn, Tuscaloosa, Baton Rouge, Knoxville or even Lexington after two rounds of the 2022 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. Only Arkansas remains to carry the Southeastern Conference banner as they stare down top-seeded Gonzaga in their next game. Making the conference carnage even more remarkable, none of the five losses were supposed to happen. Every loss was served to the “It Just Means More” crowd by underdogs.

Auburn coach Bruce Pearl claims the SEC beat up on each other all season as the reason for the conference’s poor performance. Regardless, it’s time for SEC fans to stop falling into this trap.

Basketball just isn’t for us. The tournament definitely isn’t for us. It never was. SEC basketball only ever belonged to Kentucky, and even they couldn’t get the job done this year, allowing a 15-seed to advance past the first round for only the 10th time in history.

It’s time to admit it. We, in Alabama, do not care about basketball. We, in Alabama, do not know about basketball. We certainly try. We learn the names of our favorite starting five. We care in spasmodic spurts during the season, but, unless your team is dominating, it’s tough to stay involved.

For some of us, we learned only last season that the SEC abandoned divisions in 2011. Some of us just learned that by reading the previous sentence. Almost all of us struggle to remember if the regular season conference championship or a conference tournament championship means more.

If the SEC “Just Means More” in football, it simply means less in basketball. And it’s OK for us to stop caring.

If you insist on continuing to follow college basketball and want an attempt at analysis, here it is: The very predictable Alabama upset loss against 11-seed Notre Dame likely delayed blue blood programs from poaching Nate Oats from the Tide. That’s good! And, while Jabari Smith is definitely leaving for the NBA after a diaper dandy season, Auburn isn’t going anywhere. They’ll be dancing again next year. That’s great!

If you haven’t yet turned away from the basketball tournament, at least you have Arkansas. Their coach’s name is Musselman, which is very funny. That must count for something.

Listen below for more unhelpful analysis of the SEC college basketball landscape in the latest episode of Throw The Flag, along with the latest on Urban Meyer being a bad guy and a lightning round update of where every NFL team stands in the quarterback position.

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