The Southern United States—commonly referred to as the American South, Dixie, or simply the South—is an area comprising the southeastern and south-central United States. The region is known for its culture and history, having developed its own customs, musical styles and varied cuisines that have helped distinguish it in some ways from the rest of the United States. The Southern ethnic heritage is diverse and includes strong European (mostly English, Scotch-Irish and Scottish), African, and some Native American components. Several Southern states (Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia) were English Colonies that sent delegates to sign the Declaration of Independence and then fought against the English along with the Northern Colonists during the Revolutionary War. The basis for much Southern culture derives from the pride in these states being among the 13 original colonies (and much of the population of the South had fore-fathers who emigrated west from these colonies). Manners and customs reflect the early population of the South's relationship with England as well as that of Africa and to some extent the native populations.
Some other aspects of the historical and cultural development of the South have been influenced by an early support for the doctrine of states' rights, the institution of slave labor on plantations in the Lower South; the presence of a large proportion of African Americans in the population; and the legacy of the Civil War and Reconstruction Era, as seen in thousands of lynchings (mostly from 1880 to 1930), the segregated system of separate schools and public facilities known as "Jim Crow", that lasted until the 1960s, and the widespread use of poll taxes and other methods to frequently deny blacks of the right to vote or hold office until the 1960s. In more modern times, however, the South has become the most integrated region of the country and race-relations on par with those elsewhere. Since the late 1960s blacks have held and currently hold many high offices, such as mayor and police chief, in many cities such as Atlanta and New Orleans.
A state of the United States of America is one of the 50 constituent political entities that shares its sovereignty with the United States federal government. Because of the shared sovereignty between each U.S. state and the U.S. federal government, an American is a citizen of both the federal republic and of his or her state of domicile. State citizenship and residency are flexible and no government approval is required to move between states, except for persons covered by certain types of court orders (e.g., paroled convicts and children of divorced spouses who are sharing custody).
States are divided into counties or county-equivalents, which may be assigned some local governmental authority but are not sovereign. County or county-equivalent structure varies widely by state. Kentucky, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Virginia use the official title of Commonwealth rather than State.
The SEC Women's Basketball Tournament (sometimes known simply as the SEC Tournament) is the conference tournament in women's basketball for the Southeastern Conference (SEC). It is a single-elimination tournament that involves all league schools (currently 14), and seeded based on regular season records. The tournament was first held in 1980, and originally determined the conference champion. Even after the SEC began a uniform conference schedule in the 1982–83 season, the tournament continued to determine the official conference champion through the 1985 edition. Starting in the 1985–86 season, the SEC began awarding its official conference championship solely to the team(s) with the best regular-season record. This change brought SEC women's basketball in line with men's basketball, in which the SEC has awarded its official conference title based on regular-season record since the 1950–51 season.
The tournament is a seeded, single-elimination tournament that normally involves all league schools (currently 14 after the addition of two schools in 2012). Seeding is based on regular-season records. Under the current format, the bottom four teams in the conference play first-round games, while the top four teams receive a "double-bye" and do not play until the quarterfinals. The 2013 tournament, the first after the most recent expansion, only had 13 teams participating, with Ole Miss self-imposing a postseason ban.
The SEC Men's Basketball Tournament (sometimes known simply as the SEC Tournament) is the conference tournament in basketball for the Southeastern Conference (SEC). It is a single-elimination tournament that involves all league schools (currently 14). Its seeding is based on regular season records. The winner receives the conference's automatic bid to the NCAA men's basketball tournament, however the official conference championship is awarded to the team or teams with the best regular season record.