DESTIN, Fla. – John Calipari, long an opponent of even holding the SEC basketball tournament, has moved on from wanting to eliminate it.
Now he just wants to move it to November.
That was the idea Kentucky’s coach said he presented at SEC meetings this week, and which he pushed in a media session on Wednesday.
“You know my stuff is so ridiculous that you say, what?” Calipari said.
The idea: Bring all 14 SEC teams together for a November tournament, but instead of single elimination, change it to a format where everyone would be guaranteed three games.
That way, interest in SEC basketball is started earlier in the season. And a postseason SEC tournament, which Calipari feels only hurts the league, is ended.
“We go somewhere and all the fans come in and we celebrate our league, and they’re great games to start the year,” Calipari said.
“You do it for one week. You maybe have two sites in the same city. Maybe it’s in Atlanta. We do it every year. Let’s all of our fans go to Atlanta. And everything is geared to SEC, and then you start the regular season.”
Calipari was asked how his idea received. He smiled and crossed his eyes, then laughed along with reporters.
“But again, I just say stuff – I don’t think we should hold back on anything,” Calipari said. “If something’s not quite working.”
The SEC tournament has long not worked, in Calipari’s opinion, despite Kentucky’s long dominance of it. The Wildcats won it again in March. But the SEC only received three bids to the NCAA tournament.
“If you lose in the first round of our league tournament, you’re out. You’re done. That’s not the case in most of these other leagues,” Calipari said. “And if you win our league tournament, it doesn’t mean anything. It doesn’t move the needle. It doesn’t give you anything – Texas A&M lost to us and they were a 3 (seed) and we were a 4.”
John Calipari live at SEC Spring Meetings
Posted by Kentucky Wildcats Insiders on Wednesday, June 1, 2016