KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- The Southeastern Conference figured to take a step backward this season after being home of the national champions and having the most NBA draft picks of any league last year.
Still, few expected the SEC to get knocked around like it has during its nonconference schedule.
"I do think there are some teams going through some transitions just like we are," Vanderbilt coach Kevin Stallings said. "That's probably made for a little lesser performance in nonconference play."
That has translated into mounting losses.
SEC teams have gone 3-6 against the Atlantic Coast Conference, 2-5 against the Big 12, 2-4 against the Big Ten, 4-13 against the Big East and 4-5 against the Pac-12. SEC teams also are just 3-11 against the Top 25. Missouri's 82-73 victory over No. 10 Illinois on Dec. 22 is the SEC's lone win over a top-10 team in eight attempts.
The SEC's nonconference performance could mean that going slightly above .500 in conference play may not be enough to re...