NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — The Southeastern Conference men’s basketball tournament has found a home in Nashville, Tennessee, where it will be played this week.
The SEC women’s coaches would like to end the vagabond existence for their showcase event as well.
The SEC women’s tournament returned here to Verizon Arena for the fourth time since 2003 after spending the last two years in Duluth, Georgia.
Next year the tournament moves to Jacksonville, Florida, with the site of the 2017 tournament still to be determined.
Nashville will host nine of the next 11 men’s tournaments, with the women going there in 2018 and 2022 while the men go to St. Louis and Tampa, Florida, respectively.
LSU coach Nikki Caldwell said the SEC women’s coaches would like to find a permanent home for their event, too. She said Birmingham, Alabama, has been mentioned because of the success of the SEC baseball tournament in suburban Hoover.
“It’s extremely important for us to grow our game and place our tournament where we can get fans to come and where it will be an enjoyable experience,” Caldwell said, “a fairly easy place for us to get to.”
Caldwell said at a previous meeting she suggested New Orleans as a possible site. The city has hosted two Women’s Final Fours but never the SEC women’s tournament, which made its only visit to Louisiana in 1981 at LSU.
“It’s a destination place,” Caldwell said of New Orleans.
Slive not in attendance
SEC Commissioner Mike Slive is not attending this year’s women’s tournament, the last during his tenure in office.
Slive, who in October announced he will retire July 31, has been undergoing treatment for a recurrence of prostate cancer.
SEC associate commissioner and former LSU senior associate athletic director Herb Vincent said Slive hopes to be at the men’s tournament.
Moncrief the big tipper
LSU guard Raigyne Moncrief may be only 5-foot-10, but she has become the Lady Tigers’ designated tipper to start the game.
Moncrief toed the circle for the fifth straight time, outleaping 6-4 South Carolina center Elem Ibiam for the ball.
Moncrief has won all five tips she has contested in this run.
Name that tune
The South Carolina pep band has been busy. Along with playing during their team’s games they played for Kentucky during the Wildcats’ win Friday night over Mississippi State as the Kentucky band was unable to make it because of bad weather.
The band from Little Rock Central High School played for Kentucky in their semifinal game Saturday night against Tennessee.
The Lady Tigers flew back to Baton Rouge on Saturday night and will spend the next week awaiting their NCAA tournament fate.
The women’s tournament selection show is set for Monday, March 16 at 6 p.m. on ESPN.
LSU is seeking its 24th NCAA bid.
Follow Scott Rabalais on Twitter: @RabalaisAdv.