It’s strange to see Alabama and Texas A&M matchup on the hardwood as opposed to the gridiron, but that’s what we got on Thursday night. The two teams matched up with neither having any real hope of playing in the Big Dance come March. In what has been a down year for SEC basketball, these two teams provided little added motivation to watch this football conference’s basketball games.
This game was actually close and somewhat entertaining in the first half as the Aggies took a 24-23 lead into the break. However, that was about as entertaining as it would get. Right out of the gate in the second half, Texas A&M was firing on all cylinders and outscored the Crimson Tide 39-25 in the second half to make the game something of a blowout.
As a matchup of traditional football powerhouses, games like this that have become so common in the SEC raise a very important question: Will competition on the basketball court keep getting worse?
Teams in the SEC are throwing boatloads of money towards their football programs because of the astronomical returns that they get. Just look at Texas A&M’s renovation that will allow them to seat 111,000 fans in their stadium. While football and basketball are traditionally the money making sports in college athletics, football is dominant in the SEC.
Some teams like Kentucky, Florida and Tennessee have kept their focus on basketball because they’ve established themselves as basketball schools as well. However, for the teams yet to make that name for themselves on the basketball court, recruiting outside of football is going to be very difficult.
Until the majority of SEC schools shift their focus from football and spend a little more on basketball, they are going to be a run-of-the-mill conference in basketball. With how seriously they take their football, it could be a while before we see a strong SEC in basketball again.