History of the Early Southeastern Conference Atlanta Basketball Tournament
- 1934 -


First Round: (Friday, February 23, 1934)

Quarterfinals: (Saturday, February 24, 1934)

Semifinals: (Monday, February 26, 1934)

Finals: (Tuesday, February 27, 1934)


The league meeting during the 1933 tournament had set the number of participants in future basketball tournaments to eight teams, so naturally the tournament showcased ten members of the conference. The first night saw two games played (Georgia vs. Georgia Tech and Tennessee vs. Auburn) while the remaining six teams all received byes.

This would be only the third time that Georgia and Georgia Tech faced each other in the Atlanta post-season tournament, and by far the earliest they would be matched against each other (previously they had met in the semi-finals in 1921 and the quarterfinals in 1923).

Kentucky finished the regular season conference schedule undefeated and were considered a odds-on favorite for the tournament crown. Louisiana State and Alabama were also considered to be serious contenders.

Alabama was missing their star forward, Zeke Kimbrough, and another star Jimmy Walker was doubtful. While preparing for the tournament, Kimbrough broke his jaw in practice and had to have surgery, which removed him from action.

John DeMoisey
The headliners entering the tournament were All-Americans John "Frenchy" DeMoisey of the University of Kentucky and Malcolm "Sparky" Wade of Louisiana State University.

DeMoisey was well known for his hook shot, which he was among the first to use in college basketball, if not the inventor of the shot. Noted Vanderbilt Coach Josh Cody about DeMoisey and his odd shot:

Returning for his fourth straight year officiating the tournament was J. Olney "Bowser" Chest. He was joined by a young official, who nevertheless was familiar with the tournament, in Bunn Hackney, former North Carolina star.

The admission prices for the first round games were 50 cents in the upper deck and $1 for downstairs.

Tournament Bracket of 1934 prior to start of games

Individual Games

Friday, February 23, 1934 - First Round

Saturday, February 24, 1934 - Quarterfinals

Monday, February 26, 1934 - Semifinals

1934 Florida Gators
Seated: (left to right) Robert Rickett, Eddie Moore, Captain George Gunn Gunn, George Smathers, Coach Ben Clemons
Back Row: Robert Warner, H.D. Kinsey, Welcome Shearer, Jimmy Hughes, Jimmy Love

Tuesday, February 27, 1934 - Finals


1934 All-Tournament Team

Alabama's Jimmy Walker and Jim Whatley were named to the first team All-SEC Tournament squad. Kentucky's John DeMoisey and Bill Davis were also named to the first team, despite only playing in one game (a loss) in the tournament. The final member of the first team was Florida's Jim Hughes.

Tennessee's Dave McPherson was the individual scoring leading in the tournament with 25 points in three games. He was named to the All-SEC Tournament second team.

The loss by Kentucky to Florida in the first round had a profound impact, as Kentucky coach Adolph Rupp was upset that his squad, which was undefeated in the conference during the regular season, lost the conference title.

The S.E.C. tournament was already on shaky ground as the league had voted to not hold it in the 1934-35 season. After the loss, Rupp drove a nail into it when he announced that Kentucky was not planning to participate in the SEC tournament the following year, even if the decision to abolish it was reversed.

Kentucky Coach Adolph Rupp
Explained Rupp as to his reasons for this decision:


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