SEC hopes to boost basketball profile

DESTIN, Fla. (AP) - Even with Kentucky and Florida advancing to the Final Four, the Southeastern Conference has no illusions about its men's basketball profile.

The football powerhouse is far from a hardwood heavyweight, partly evidenced by finishing seventh in conference RPI last season, getting just three teams in the NCAA tournament and then having two coaches at high-profile places leave for other programs.

Coaches and administrators are searching for solutions, which could include the soon-to-launch SEC Network and tougher non-conference schedules. The ultimate goal, according to Kentucky coach John Calipari, is to get half the conference's 14 teams in the NCAA tournament in the next three years.

That's fairly ambitious for a league that has gotten five teams in the NCAA tournament just once in the last five years.


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