By LARRY VAUGHT
Southeastern Conference and Big 12 basketball coaches are not going to complain about the Big 12/SEC Challenge that takes place during their respective conference seasons. But they don’t like the way it disrupts focus on league play.
Kansas coach Bill Self understands the benefit for college basketball the series has even if it might not suit him or other coaches like John Calipari.
“I can appreciate how good it is for the Big 12 and the SEC leagues as wholes. I don’t even know who won the (Big 12/SEC Challenge). I have no idea who won the other games,” Self said without knowing the Big 12 won after the SEC won last year.
“I would say that sometimes, and Cal goes through this, I would think, sometimes Kentucky has to do things they may not want to do, but it’s good for the whole. I think that’s kind of where we are too. It’s good for the whole. You’ve got to do this for your respective leagues. ”
He’s right. Kentucky takes the bullet for the SEC a lot. It is no coincidence that every year the flex schedule just gives UK the most difficult schedule in the league. This year UK has to play Tennessee, Mississippi State, Auburn and Florida, four of the league’s top five teams, twice. No other league team has to face that.
“Even though I wish it could happen in December, but now, with so many league games, you can’t do that,” Self said about the Big 12/SEC Challenge. “There are no time slots with bowl games and all that stuff. It needs to be covered. One day, on ESPN, it was an infomercial for both leagues, so it is positive.”