The Southeastern Conference officially announced the new format for the 14-team conference schedule and tournament, and it looks pretty much like everyone expected it to. These are the highlights:
–Every team plays 18 games, with at least one game against every other team.
–Each team plays one permanent rival home-and-home every year.
–Teams play four rotating opponents home-and-home each year.
–Teams play each remaining school once.
–The rivalry pairings are as follows:
Kentucky – Florida
Alabama – Auburn
Arkansas – Missouri
Georgia – South Carolina
LSU – Texas A&M
Ole Miss – Mississippi State
Tennessee – Vanderbilt
Under the format, in a three-year period every team would play their permanent rival six times and every other team four times, which means UK will get a steady diet of Florida in the years to come, but a smaller serving of Vanderbilt than they have been getting. Somewhere in the last sentence are the makings for a fat joke about Kevin Stallings, but I’m having trouble choosing so I’ll just move on.
The SEC tournament will also adjust to include all 14 teams, and will now start on Wednesday with the 11-14 and 12-13 games. The top four seeds get a bye to Friday’s quarterfinal, meaning that travel plans for Kentucky fans probably won’t change much from what they have been recently. The 2013 tournament will take place from March 13-17 at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, and Kentucky fans have probably already taken the place over.
You can see the full release about the schedule at the SEC website.
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