SEC Basketball History

Here's a short overview of SEC basketball history.

The Southeastern Conference (SEC) came into existence in the winter of 1932, when 13 members of the Southern Conference split to form the new SEC. The common thread among all of the universities that founded the SEC is that all of these members were west and south of the Appalachian Mountains, providing a natural geographic boundary.

Ten of the original thirteen members have remained in the SEC from its inception. Those schools include the:

  • University of Alabama
  • Auburn University
  • University of Florida
  • University of Georgia
  • University of Mississippi
  • University of Kentucky
  • University of Tennessee
  • Vanderbilt University
  • Louisiana State University, and
  • Mississippi State University

Three original members would eventually go on to leave the SEC. Those members were Georgia Tech, who left in 1964, Tulane, who left in 1966, and Sewanee, who left the SEC in 1940.

In 1991, the Southeastern Conference expanded from 10 to 12 teams with the additions of the University of South Carolina and the University of Arkansas, schools which represent the eastern and western-most schools respectively. The University of Kentucky represents the northern-most member of the SEC; the University of Florida represents the conference's southern-most member institution.

After the expansion from 10 to 12 teams, the SEC was divided up into 2 divisions, the Eastern and Western division.

The Eastern Division consists of the:

  • University of Florida
  • University of Georgia
  • University of Kentucky
  • University of South Carolina
  • University of Tennessee, and
  • Vanderbilt University

The Western Division consists of the:

  • University of Alabama
  • University of Arkansas
  • Auburn University
  • Louisiana State University
  • University of Mississippi, and
  • Mississippi State University

From its inception, the SEC has been heavily focused on football. That said, SEC basketball has always played a major role within the conference.

From its earliest days, SEC basketball has been dominated by the University of Kentucky, without a doubt the preeminent basketball program throughout the history of the SEC.

From the first year of the conference's existence, the Adolph Rupp-led Wildcats were the SEC Conference Champions, and UK has not looked back since, winning 43 SEC Championships, more than 5 times the total of the programs that have won the 2nd most, Louisiana State University and the University of Tennessee, who have each won 8.

All-time, the University of Kentucky has by a significant margin the best all-time regular season conference record (only includes games against SEC opponents). The all-time conference records of all current SEC men's basketball programs (through games played in the 2004-2005 season) are:

  1. University of Kentucky 823-217 (.791)
  2. University of Alabama 674-495 (.577)
  3. University of Arkansas 123-97 (.559)
  4. University of Tennessee 598-480 (.555)
  5. Vanderbilt University 574-530 (.520)
  6. LSU 572-550 (.510)
  7. Auburn University 521-593 (.468)
  8. University of Florida 486-569 (.461)
  9. Mississippi State University 491-645 (.432)
  10. University of Georgia 450-650 (.409)
  11. University of South Carolina 91-133 (.406)
  12. University of Mississippi 405-710 (.363)

The SEC has been a player on the national college basketball stage as well, and in most cases, it was the University of Kentucky who was carrying the SEC flag the farthest. In fact, the University of Kentucky has won the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament 7 times (1948, 1949, 1951, 1958, 1978, 1996, and 1998).

Two other SEC teams have won the Tournament -- Arkansas in 1994, and the University of Florida, most recently, who won the "March Madness" Tournament in back-to-back seasons: 2006 and 2007.

Learn more about Origins of SEC School Colors and History of SEC School Mascots.

Basketball History of Each SEC School



You also might be interested in the following pages:


SEC Basketball History
SEC Basketball History
SEC Basketball History

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