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Bracketology: The New Alchemy, or Where Your Team is Headed

In lieu of Sprints, since there really is no other SEC news today ...

Suprising no one -- least of all SEC Commish and head of the seleciton committee Mike Slive -- only three conference teams ended up in the Big Dance: regular season champ LSU, tourney champ Mississippi State and regular season Eastern Division champ Tennessee.

LSU gets the highest seed, 8th in the South Regional, and will play (9) Butler on Thursday, the same day (13) Mississippi State faces off with (5) Washington in the West. (9) Tennessee, playing in the East Regional, will play (8) Oklahoma State on Friday.

LSU looks to have the best chance to move to the second round, though Mississippi State is playing well now (obviously) and might be able to stun Washington. Emphasis on might. With Tennessee -- which team shows up? (Though, the opponent is not Kentucky, so there is that ... )

The NIT gets four SEC teams as a result -- and when you're the NIT, you'll take as many major conference teams as you can get. Auburn and Florida both grab top seeds, with the Tigers taking on Tennessee-Martin at 8 p.m. ET Wednesday and Florida squaring off against Jacksonville at the same time. (3) South Carolina plays Tuesday, an 7 p.m. ET tip against (6) Davidson on ESPN2. At 9:30 p.m. ET on Tuesday, (4) Kentucky plays (5) UNLV.

Think about this for a moment, and you'll see the troubled times for the SEC: The Eastern Division co-champion is a 3 seed. In the NIT.

No one goes to the College Basketball Invitational, which appears to be round ball's answer to the Emerald Bowl.

The SEC teams spurned by the tournaments: Arkansas and Georgia -- I know you're stunned -- along with Alabama, Mississippi and Vanderbilt. All is not over, at least for Crimson Tide fans (and, by extension, Georgia fans):

Anyway, all that's left is to watch the potential candidates in the NCAA and NIT tournament, including Tubby Smith, Mike Anderson, Oliver Purnell, Frank Haith, Anthony Grant and others...

And don't forget that one of the NIT analysts will likely be Bobby Knight. He's still out there ...

For all of your college basketball needs, check out SB Nation's Searching for Billy Edelin, the general NCAA BB site, and Blogging the Bracket, devoted to all things Big Dance.

In the meantime, maybe it's time to get this season over so the SEC can get back to what it does well. You know, the game at which the ACC isn't a good conference.