During league meetings in Destin, Fla., on Wednesday, Southeastern Conference men's basketball coaches voted 11-1 to abandon divisional play. That recommendation was accepted by the league's athletics directors, and school presidents will vote on the provision Friday.
Under the coaches' plan for no more divisions, which would take effect this coming season, the Eastern and Western groups will still be used for scheduling. Teams would continue to play opponents within their former division twice, and they would play teams from what was the opposite division once. But the standings would reflect one 12-team league.
The teams with the top four records, regardless of former divisional affiliation, would receive first-round byes in the SEC Tournament.
The vote came after the past two winners of the Western Division failed to receive bids to the NCAA Tournament. Those teams were Mississippi State and Mississippi in 2010 and Alabama in 2011.
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In 2009, South Carolina shared the Eastern Division championship but did not get a bid to the NCAA Tournament.
A 12-team format raises questions about how to format a regular-season schedule. An 18-game SEC schedule got support. The coaches also considered a 22-game home-and-home format.
The coaches did not vote on a method for future scheduling.