SEC preview: Kentucky's the favorite again

Point guard Tyler Ulis and the Kentucky Wildcats will look to defend their SEC regular season and tournament championships. AP Photo/James Crisp

Can you say revival? Long treated like the ugly stepsister to football, SEC basketball could be on the brink of something big. Big enough to unseat perennial front-runner Kentucky? Let's not get ahead of ourselves.

Asking whether the SEC can be reborn is a bit of a "tree falling in a forest" question -- if a conference was never really developed, can it be reborn? -- but nonetheless, it certainly seems possible.


  • Kentucky isn't the only school with a top-10 recruit. LSU and Mississippi State each have one, too.

  • Two new coaches tote Final Four résumés to their new homes, Rick Barnes at Tennessee and Ben Howland at Mississippi State.

  • And there are as many as four teams that could very well start in the preseason top 25: Kentucky, LSU, Texas A&M and Vanderbilt.

Let's face it. The SEC has too long been a two-trick pony, relying on Kentucky and Florida to carry the league banner. Though both programs have done more than admirably, it's tough to sell the overall strength of a conference when there isn't a lot more to talk about.

But this year, there very well could be plenty to discuss, and it's not limited to the typical storylines.

Which means the time is now for the SEC to realize its potential.