SEC Network to air first three rounds of SEC baketball tournament

AUBURN – The SEC Network, ESPN’s soon-to-launch network devoted to the Southeastern Conference, will exclusively air the first three rounds of the SEC men’s basketball tournament in 2015 and beyond, ESPN and the SEC announced Friday. The expanded coverage will mark the first time the entire tournament will be nationally televised.

“This is an example of the in-depth basketball coverage the SEC Network will give fans across the country,” SEC commissioner Mike Slive said in a statement.  “From November 14 through early March, fans will be able to turn to the SEC Network to follow their favorite SEC basketball teams.”

The SEC Network will launch Aug. 14 and broadcast more than 100 SEC men’s basketball games annually. Each of the conference’s 14 teams will be featured on the network at least eight times next season.

The debut of SEC men’s college basketball on the SEC Network is set for Friday, Nov. 14 with a doubleheader featuring Kentucky and current No. 1 Florida. Opponents and game times will be announced by the schools at a later date.

“The SEC Network will provide more coverage of SEC men’s basketball than ever before,”  said Justin Connolly, ESPN senior vice president, college networks. “From the season’s opening night through the first three rounds of the SEC tournament, we’ll surround SEC basketball fans with great action all season long.”

Auburn was eliminated in the opening round of the SEC Tournament by South Carolina on Wednesday. Tony Barbee was fired less than two hours later.