Around the SEC
Another SEC coach bites the dust. Vanderbilt just fired Bryce Drew after only three seasons.
Although the Commodores went 9-23 this season and were winless in the SEC, the move comes as a bit of a shock since Drew was doing what few have done before: convince five-star recruits to come to Vanderbilt. This season, Vanderbilt had two five-stars on the roster: Simi Shittu and Darius Garland, who went down with a season-ending knee injury in November. The ‘Dores have two top 150 players signed in the Class of 2019 too and a verbal commitment from Scotty Pippen, the son of NBA great Scottie Pippen.
Vanderbilt athletic director Malcom Turner, the former president of the NBA G-League who took the job less than two months ago, explained the decision in a press release.
“Vanderbilt is committed to competing at the highest levels on and off the court. After careful consideration, we’ve decided to make a change to the leadership of our men’s basketball program,” said Turner. “Bryce has represented Vanderbilt in exceptional fashion in his time here. I appreciate all of the contributions Bryce has made over the past three seasons to Vanderbilt, and we wish him all the best.”
According to Jeff Goodman, the first meeting between Turner and Drew was to notify him of his termination and Turner had only attended one Vandy practice since taking the job.
At least Shannon the Dude is happy.
The NCAA Selection committee has finally made their long-awaited decisions, and the brackets have been officially made. Seven SEC teams will be dancing for a shot at winning the National Championship. Here is the path that each team may face in their run for One Shining Moment.
Mississippi State: 5 Seed, 23-10 Overall Record
While Miss. State did not end the year particularly strong (lost 3 of their last 5), the Bulldogs have put together a relatively good resume on their way to a five seed. They have multiple wins over NCAA Tournament teams like Arizona State, Saint Mary’s, Cincinnati, Auburn, Ole Miss, and Florida.
They have a very fascinating first round matchup against Liberty University. The Flames are not going to be an easy out by any stretch of the imagination. This is an experienced ball club which won 28 games. Also, with this being a 5/12 matchup there is naturally going to be a lot of talk of an upset.
However, I would bet against it. Without question, the Bulldogs will have the best player on the floor in Quinndary Weatherspoon. No one on Liberty averages over 13 points per game, and the Flames did not beat a single opponent from a major conference.
The bad news for Miss. State is that the road ahead of them is extremely tough. If they handle their business against Liberty, they will most likely have to play a good Virginia Tech squad in the next round. Simply put, the Hokies are just a better team and will be favored in the matchup.
The really, really bad news for the Bulldogs is that they have a potential Sweet Sixteen matchup with Duke even if they manage to make it out of the first weekend. Overall, if Miss. State makes it out of the first weekend, it would be a massive success. However, their championship fate already seems sealed.
Prediction: Losing in the Round of 32 against Virginia Tech
— Vines Connection (@vinesconnection) March 18, 2019
LSU: 3 Seed, 26-6 Overall Record
Look, the Tigers are possibly the biggest wildcards in this year’s tournament for a multitude of reasons. The recent FBI scandal involving Head Coach Will Wade and freshman guard Javonte Smart has put a dark cloud over anything LSU has accomplished this season.
How will that affect the team in the tournament? Their loss against Florida in the SEC Tournament was bad, however, it came on a last second shot. This is still an insanely athletic team with a ton of talent.
They will be on upset alert right off the bat against 14-seed Yale. Make no mistake about this: Yale is a better team than Liberty is. LSU obviously has more talent than the Ivy League Champion, but we just don’t know if the Tigers will be ready to play against such an experienced squad.
If they can just get past Yale, I really like their chances in the second round against Belmont/Maryland. In the sweet sixteen they would most likely have to play Michigan State which would normally be a good matchup for LSU. However, the Tigers are at a disadvantage without Wade on the sidelines. That will hurt their chances against Izzo.
Even if they do defeat the Spartans which is certainly possible, they are not getting past Duke in the Elite Eight. That is the ceiling for this LSU team this season.
Prediction: A Sweet Sixteen loss to Michigan State.
LSU started the 2006 NCAA Tournament in Jacksonville and had to go through 1 seeded Duke to get to the final 4. This year, LSU starts the tournament in Jacksonville and will have to go through 1 seeded Duke to reach the final 4. Challenge accepted
— Hot_LSU_Takes? (@HotLsu) March 17, 2019
Florida: 10 Seed, 19-15 Overall Record
I think this is the one SEC team that is destined to lose in the first round of the tournament. I don’t think that the Gators are particularly a bad team, but I think they got a terrible draw by playing Nevada in the first round.
Don’t forget that the Wolfpack pulled off a big run in the tournament last season where they unfortunately lost to Loyola-Chicago in a classic Sweet Sixteen game. Almost everyone returned from that team, and Nevada managed to have another great season by winning 29 games in the regular season.
The Wolfpack will have the best player on the floor in Caleb Martin, and they will have the better head coach in Eric Musselman. Anything can happen on any given day, but I think Nevada beats Florida nine times out of ten. Even if the Gators luck up and win, they are not beating Michigan in the second round.
Prediction: First round exit to Nevada.
West Region Quick Takes
– Florida State will best Gonzaga in this half of the bracket.
– Nevada is the most under seeded team in the tournament. Florida got a brutal matchup.
– Texas Tech is the most underrated team in the county and is my pick to win the Region.
— Marc Ryan (@MarcRyanOnAir) March 17, 2019
Ole Miss: 8 Seed, 20-12 Overall Record
The Rebels got one of the more favorable 8/9 matchups as they will be playing Oklahoma in Columbia, South Carolina. Even though Oklahoma is favored by ESPN’s matchup predicator, I really like Ole Miss in this matchup.
Do not bet against Kermit Davis in the first round. As the head coach at MTSU, Davis led the 15-seeded Blue Raiders to a monumental upset of Michigan State in 2016. Then in 2017 he led MTSU to a 12/upset over Minnesota. Davis gets his guys ready to win in the first round.
Also, I just think the Rebels have the more talented team. The best squad the Sooners beat all season long was a Kansas team that is reeling from injuries and suspensions. After that, the best team they beat was Florida by five points.
Ole Miss is winning this game. They have the better coach, and the Rebels will also have the two best players on the court in Breein Tyree and Terrance Davis. After that, well…..they won’t be advancing any further. Virginia will be awaiting them in the second round, and the Cavaliers are the better team.
Prediction: Round of 32 loss to North Carolina
SEC Coach of the Year Kermit Davis illustrates how he was able to turn the @OleMissMBB around so quickly and why his Runnin' Rebels are a team to be reckoned with in the NCAA Tournament. pic.twitter.com/SZYLr9dtxj
— CBS Sports Network (@CBSSportsNet) March 18, 2019
Tennessee: 2 Seed, 29-5 Overall Record
The Volunteers are the first team in this list which has a real shot at reaching the Final Four. Outside of potentially playing Cincinnati in the second round, they have a favorable path to Minneapolis.
They will cruise in the first-round game against Colgate, neither Purdue nor Villanova posts a real threat to the Volunteers in a potential sweet sixteen matchup, and Virginia is a beatable No. 1 seed. But before we look that far, let’s look at that Cincinnati matchup.
First off, the Bearcats are not a team that deserves a seven seed. The committee basically ignored that Cincinnati won the AAC Tournament over a very good Houston team on Sunday. Jarron Cumberland (18.8) is one of the better players in college basketball, and he will give the Volunteers problems.
Even with this game being played in Columbus, Ohio, I still think Tennessee will barely emerge victorious. That leads us to that mammoth Elite Eight showdown with Virginia. I’ll be up front with this: I think this is the year the Cavaliers make the Final Four. After the UMBC disaster, I think this team will be on the war path in this year’s tournament, and I love their talent.
Plus, I just do not trust Rick Barnes in March. I think he is holding back Tennessee to a certain extent. Can the Volunteers make the Final Four? Of course. They just need to get lucky and stay clear of Virginia.
Prediction: Elite Eight loss to the Cavaliers.
So Tennessee might have to play Cincinnati in Columbus? There are some things that are debatable in life. But Tennessee getting dragged through the mud all season by the powers that be in college basketball is NOT one of them
— Aaron Torres (@Aaron_Torres) March 17, 2019
FINAL FOUR ODDS: South:
 Virginia 49%
 Tennessee 22%
 Purdue 10%
 Villanova 5%
 Kansas St. 4%
 Wisconsin 4%
 Cincinnati 3%
 Oregon 1%
— Nate Silver (@NateSilver538) March 18, 2019
Auburn: 5 Seed, 26-9 Overall Record
Here is the second biggest wildcard out of the SEC teams and possibly the entire tournament. How far the Tigers advance in the tournament has everything to do with their first-round matchup with New Mexico State.
This is very much so a dangerous 5/12 game because the Aggies are a 30-win team on a 19-game win streak who also just so happens to play a fascinating brand of basketball. There are 12 (!) players on NMSU’s team who play at least 10 minutes a game. The Aggies will consistently throw fresh guys at Bruce Pearl’s team all game long.
The only question is how good are these guys compared to Auburn? Overall, I have to barely go with the Tigers because of their backcourt. Jared Harper and Bryce Brown will get the job done.
If they get past the Aggies, I think the flood gates will open up. They would take care of business against Kansas, and I LOVE their matchup against North Carolina. The biggest thing I’ve noticed about the Tar Heels this season is that once a team makes a huge run against them, they don’t come back.
Auburn loves to go on huge stretches where they hit 4-5 straight threes. Plus, I think Harper will cause problems for Coby White defensively. Is this a bit bold when the Tigers could lose in the first round? Yes, but fortune favors the bold. Just don’t bet on the Tigers to beat Kentucky in the Elite Eight.
Prediction: Elite Eight loss to Kentucky
Auburn pounded Pac-12 champ Washington early, gave Duke hell early, took Kentucky to the buzzer. Faltered in the middle, but on the cusp of an eighth straight win, including a pair over a potential No. 1 seed, Tennessee.
Don't sleep on the Tigers in the next tournament.
— Kyle Tucker (@KyleTucker_ATH) March 17, 2019
Kentucky: 2 Seed, 27-6 Overall Record
We finally reach the dear ole’ Wildcats. Let’s get this out of the way now: I think this team is destined for the Final Four. UK’s side of the Midwest bracket is favorable. Seton Hall and Wofford will provide a scary second round game, as could Iowa State in the Sweet Sixteen.
But I really do think that Kentucky is marginally better than all of those teams. This leads to that huge potential rematch against UNC. For one, I have a sneaky suspension that the Tar Heels will not make it that far. Even if they do, I really like how the Wildcats matchup with them. It’s the whole reason why UK was victorious in December. Don’t forget that Reid Travis is from Minneapolis which would make for a great Final Four storyline.
In the Final Four they would most likely play Virginia. Normally, a really good, defensively tough team that likes to slow it down would beat Kentucky. But this is a different Wildcat squad from year’s past because they play so well in the half court. Plus, Kentucky is playing elite defensively at the moment.
I sincerely think Coach John Calipari and company will find themselves in the National Championship game. Your guess is as good as mine to what happens next. Can the Wildcats beat Duke in a rematch? Does Duke even make that far with their poor three-point shooting? UK’s destiny depends on if Ashton Hagans can play at a championship level. Dominant guard play always determines which team will have that one, true shining moment. This year will be no different.
Prediction: National Championship Game Appearance
The only two times that a Calipari-coached Kentucky team lost in the SEC Tournament and made the NCAA Tournament, it went on to play in the championship game.
So really, UK should be thanking that officiating crew from yesterday.
— Not Jerry Tipton (@NotJerryTipton) March 17, 2019
#MarchMadness national championship futures are live!!
Michigan St. +1200
— MyBookie Sportsbook (@betmybookie) March 17, 2019
Happy March Madness!
LSU’s Emmitt Williams’ infatuation with short shorts is no secret to the college basketball world. From day one, he wanted everyone and their mother to know that he was proud of his legs.
Seriously, the guy likes what he’s working with.
Two reasons @EmmittWilliams6 rolls his shorts up: his nice legs and his belief in being different.
“Being different’s going to get me to the next level.” pic.twitter.com/QJm5V5eY39
— Cody Worsham (@CodyWorsham) January 3, 2019
Prior to Kentucky’s game with LSU back in February, we even wrote a post on KSR about all of the specifics of the Tiger forward’s daily wardrobes and his decision-making process behind it all.
Since the Emmitt Williams craze, however, the rest of his teammates are following suit with the short short trend as postseason play begins.
During LSU’s quarterfinal matchup with Florida this afternoon, several Tiger players were sporting the look, and they were darn proud of it.
Take a look at just a few of KSR’s pictures of the… interesting fashion statement:
A few of the LSU players cheated (pun absolutely intended) with the look, as they sported the short shorts, but wore leggings or compression shorts underneath to avoid showing off too much skin.
A few Kentucky players like hiking their shorts up just a wee bit, but I can assure you none of them look as ridiculous as the group out of Baton Rouge.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©March 15th, 2019 @ 2:00pm
It’s halftime of LSU vs. Florida here at Bridgestone Arena, and the building is buzzing about Will Wade’s suspension. The story has dominated the tournament thus far, especially after Wade’s statement yesterday claiming he should be reinstated even though he refuses to meet with LSU officials to explain his “offer” for freshman Javonte Smart that was discovered on an FBI wiretap.
Jack and I spent some time this morning speaking to LSU fans, and the vast majority of them support Wade and want him back as head coach. A few “Free Will Wade” signs have even popped up around the arena.
“We don’t know the facts and we love our coach,” Dee Bee, an LSU season ticket holder said. “Look at what he’s done for LSU just in 18 months. The stadium is now full and we believe in righteous coaching but we’ve also heard that everybody does these things — like everybody — so we feel like that maybe something will come from it.”
The “everybody does it” defense is a common one amongst LSU fans, but Bee said if Wade is guilty of offering to pay a player, he should ultimately be fired.
“Yeah, he needs to go. We’ve got to stop all this. I just feel like we’ve been singled out. I don’t know why. It’s sad.”
Another Tigers fan I spoke to vehemently disagreed, saying LSU should keep Wade even if he did offer to pay Smart.
“No, because you cannot honestly sit there and tell me Duke, North Carolina, and Kentucky, they aren’t paying players,” Hunter Wright said. “Go look at Zion Williamson’s house. His family came from a lower income background and now lives in a $350,000 house two miles from campus. You connect the dots. Everybody does it. He got caught. We’ll take a probation for a year if we have to, but I don’t want to see him get fired as coach.”
If his #FireAlleva shirt wasn’t indication enough, Wright’s anger is directed towards LSU athletic director Joe Alleva.
“I’d like to see Joe Alleva fired. He choked on the football coach. He had Jimbo Fisher and could not get the job done. He had Tom Herman, got his ego hurt and canceled the deal on that and now he won’t stand behind his own coach at LSU, Will Wade. And if you look back, he ran Duke’s Lacrosse program into the ground after the rape scandal, which turned out they were innocent but he didn’t stand behind his players there either.”
Jack managed to find the rare LSU fan who agrees with Alleva’s decision to suspend Wade and even fire him if it comes to it.
“Unfortunately, yes,” the fan said on whether or not Wade should be fired. “I’m an honest and truthful guy and I think, honestly, yes.”
“I know what he did was wrong but he has to serve his just and do his time. I want to play fair but we have do what the NCAA tells us to do.”
For what it’s worth, interim coach Tony Benford seems to be doing a pretty good job in Wade’s absence. Currently, the Tigers lead Florida 35-25 at halftime.
“I think this Tony Benford is doing an outstanding job. If he has to take over, then he needs to do his job and get us past these swamp lizards.”
As Dr. Mike discovered, not everyone is taking things so seriously.
Sitting in front of the LSU Band. Javonte Smart scores on a drive and someone yells, “That’s what we pay him to do!” Lol at least they have a sense of humor about it @KySportsRadio @MrsTylerKSR @DrewFranklinKSR pic.twitter.com/SWbs9UrP9W
— Michael Huang (@DrMikeUK) March 15, 2019
By Jack Pilgrim on ©March 15th, 2019 @ 1:30pm
Did you purchase tickets to the SEC Tournament through a secondary market? Are you still looking for tickets?
If so, the SEC is warning fans to be careful about where they have purchased or are planning to purchase tickets.
According to a press release from the conference, there have already been several cases of counterfeit and/or stolen tickets at the event, with each individual being denied access at the front gate.
If you did make a purchase on a secondary market, the SEC said there are several key features to look for on the tickets.
Fans are advised to look for the authentic SEC holographic foil located across the ticket. Within the foil, several SEC circle logos and the words “Southeastern Conference” should appear and disappear when rotating the ticket back and forth.
Another important note is that there will be no PDF print at home tickets accepted at the SEC Men’s Basketball Championship.
We advise fans to be attentive to the appearance of the tickets they are purchasing. It is important to pay close attention to the details of the holographic foil as well as the texture of the ticket.
Worried about your tickets? Bridgestone Arena has a “Ticket Validation Window” open at the main box office, which is the only way to completely and accurately ensure the authenticity of a secondary market ticket.
The LSU vs. Florida game is already underway, which will be followed by Auburn vs. South Carolina at roughly 3:25 p.m. CT. After a brief intermission, we’ll have Kentucky vs. Alabama to tip-off the evening session, followed by Tennessee vs. Mississippi State.
By Jack Pilgrim on ©March 15th, 2019 @ 1:00pm
On Wednesday, the Houston Chronicle reported Texas A&M head coach Billy Kennedy would not be retained once the team’s season concluded at the SEC Tournament.
Just one day after putting together an opening-round victory over Vanderbilt, the Aggies were sent home with an 80-54 loss to Mississippi State.
After the blowout loss, Kennedy told the media that he had no clue what his future held as A&M’s head basketball coach. He acknowledged the report of his eventual termination, but said he really wished he could have been able to focus on winning games in the tournament instead of worrying about rumors.
“I wish I knew (what was going to happen),” Kennedy said. “I don’t know anything. I haven’t talked to any of my administrators about it. Coming into this game, when you hear something as you’re walking in a gym, you hear it off the Internet, it’s not the way you want to hear something like that, going into a tournament and trying to play for a championship, trying to win games in the SEC.”
Kennedy said that while it was a major distraction, it wasn’t an excuse for the loss and he gave credit to Mississippi State for being the better team.
“I didn’t want it to be about me, so we tried to focus on beating Vandy first,” said Kennedy. “Made it all about the game, beating Vandy, representing Texas A&M in the best way possible. Like I said, it’s hard enough to win games, win championships, win at this level with any adversity. I’m sure that didn’t help. But that’s not why we got beat. Mississippi State was really good tonight.”
Kennedy, 55, was the head coach at Murray State from 2006-11 before taking the Texas A&M job. In eight seasons, the Aggie coach has led the team to an overall record of 150-115 and two appearances in the NCAA Sweet Sixteen.
Now, it’s a waiting game to see if (and when) the school decides to officially make the move.
By Jack Pilgrim on ©March 15th, 2019 @ 12:00pm
After pulling off an upset victory over Ole Miss, Alabama met with the media about their come-from-behind victory, what it means for the team’s NCAA Tournament resume moving forward, and (of course) the big rematch with your beloved Wildcats.
Tide head coach Avery Johnson got things going by discussing what the big comeback means to his team, why he doesn’t pay attention to player gossip, what he thinks of coaching one-and-done talent, and why his team needs to be prepared for a tough battle with Kentucky:
Unlike during the regular season where only select players are brought out, the entire locker room is available in the postseason, so the media was able to meet with several of Alabama’s best players.
For starters, Alabama forward Donta Hall discussed what he likes about Kentucky, the revenge factor that comes with the rematch, and why he’s confident in his group:
Guard John Petty responded to Kentucky guard Ashton Hagans’ comments, why he was so happy with his team’s toughness in the second half, and the keys to victory for the Crimson Tide against the Cats:
Guard Tevin Mack, who managed 22 points against Kentucky last time around, also discussed Hagans’ comments, what a win over UK would do to his team’s NCAA Tournament chances, and what he likes about his team:
Freshman guard Kira Lewis Jr. talked about Alabama’s last matchup with Kentucky and what’s different with both teams today:
By Nick Roush on ©March 15th, 2019 @ 11:05am
The LSU Tigers have cleared star freshman guard Javonte Smart to play in today’s SEC Tournament opener against Florida.
Smart was initially suspended after wiretaps surfaced of Will Wade discussing a “strong-ass offer” for a recruit believed to be Smart. Over the last week Smart, his mother and a pair of handlers were interviewed by LSU administrators with NCAA officials present. After fully cooperating, unlike his head coach, Smart has been cleared to play.
Smart’s suspension only sidelined him for the season finale vs. Vanderbilt. The freshman has made 37.5 percent of his three-point attempts to score 11.5 points per game for the Tigers. His 29-point performance helped lift LSU to an overtime win over Tennessee that all but clinched the regular season SEC Championship.
Tip-off between Florida and LSU is set for 1:00 ET at Bridgestone Arena.
Somehow, some way, an Indiana fan slithered his way into Bridgestone Arena for the SEC Tournament.
And he looks just as miserable as you’d imagine.
There for session No. 3 this evening, the young chap who almost certainly has an “I <3 Archie Miller” tattoo watched Alabama upset Ole Miss and Mississippi State steamroll Texas A&M to close out the night.
The look of disgust is likely a result of his beloved Hoosiers falling to Ohio State in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament this afternoon.
Unfortunately for him, he’s only going to be even more disappointed when has to witness Kentucky advance to the semifinals AND steal Keion Brooks Jr. away from the Hoosiers tomorrow.
By Nick Roush on ©March 14th, 2019 @ 11:30am
The minds behind the Free Money podcast are giving KSR fans a chance to win free money.
Today KSR is hosting an SEC Tournament Pick’em Challenge through the Action Network. If you correctly pick the last three SEC Tournament games of the day, you can win $250. It’s that simple.
Here’s how you can enter the contest:
1. Download the free Action Network app.
2. Click on “Enter Now” on the KSR Tourney Challenge.
3. Register your e-mail address for a free Action account.
4. Make three picks ATS and insert a tiebreaker.
5. Win money.
You do not need to pay for the premium service to enter the contest. Even if you’re unsure about the over/under in the Alabama-Ole Miss game, a good guess can get you $250.
Submit your picks before Auburn and Missouri tip-off around 3:30. While you’re waiting for the games to get started, enjoy a new episode of the Free Money podcast. Good luck!
The first night of SEC Tournament play is in the books, and as expected, there wasn’t too much excitement coming out of the opening-round matchups.
In a duo of double-digit seed matchups, neither game finished with the favorite losing against the spread, nor did either score total over 132 points. Exactly what we expected to happen, happen.
Let’s take a (brief) look at both games before looking at tomorrow’s schedule:
No. 12 Missouri vs. No. 13 Georgia
In the SEC Tournament opener, the Missouri Tigers took home a 71-61 victory over the Georgia Bulldogs.
For Mizzou, point guard Jordan Geist finished with a game-high 30 points on 9-15 shooting, five rebounds, one assist, and two steals in 36 minutes of action.
The only other player to finish in double figures for the Tigers was guard Xavier Pinson, who managed 15 points on 4-7 shooting, three rebounds, one assist, and one steal in 23 minutes.
For the fighting Tom Creans of Georgia, guard Jordan Harris finished with a team-high 26 points on 8-11 shooting, six rebounds, and two steals.
Forward Derek Ogbeide finished with 12 points on 4-9 shooting, eight rebounds, two blocks, and one steal.
To close out double-digit scorers for the Bulldogs, forward Nicolas Claxton managed 11 points, six rebounds, one assist, and a game-high six blocks.
Overall, Missouri shot 41.5 percent on the night and 27.3 percent from three, while Georgia converted on just 36.7 percent of baskets and 21.1 percent from three.
Georgia actually maintained a seven-point lead with 2:57 remaining in the first half, but allowed Mizzou to claw back and overtake the lead, spreading the deficit to as many as 11 (2:58 remaining in the second).
With the loss, Georgia’s season is now officially over, ending the year with a final record of 11-21 and 2-16 in the SEC.
As for Mizzou, they will take on No. 5 Auburn tomorrow afternoon.
No. 11 Texas A&M vs. No. 14 Vanderbilt
In the second game of the day, Texas A&M found an early lead on Vanderbilt and never looked back in a 69-52 victory.
For the Aggies, forward Savion Flagg finished with a game-high 29 points on 12-16 shooting, six rebounds, and one assist in 35 minutes.
Guard Jay Jay Chandler managed 13 points on 5-10 shooting and 2-3 from three to go with three rebounds and two assists in 32 minutes of action.
The only other double-digit scorer was forward Josh Nebo, who finished with 11 points on 5-6 shooting and six rebounds.
For Vanderbilt, only two players finished in double figures, with point guard Saben Lee leading the way with 19 points on 7-13 shooting and 1-2 from three.
Outside of Lee, starting center Yanni Wetzell added a ten-point, ten-rebound double-double in the loss.
Vanderbilt had the home crowd working in their favor, but it simply wasn’t enough to overcome the team’s overall lack of talent.
The team only managed 19 points in the first half and never took the lead from start to finish. They shot just 37.3 percent overall, 12.5 percent from three, and 64.7 percent from the free throw line.
Overall, it was simply a horrible performance from start to finish.
Like Georgia, the Commodores’ horrific season consisting of a whopping zero victories in SEC play is now officially over.
No. 8 Florida vs. No. 9 Arkansas – Noon CT (1:00 p.m. ET)
No. 5 Auburn vs. No. 12 Missouri – 2:25 p.m. CT (3:25 ET)
No. 7 Ole Miss vs. No. 10 Alabama – 6:00 p.m. CT (7 ET)
No. 6 Mississippi State vs. No. 11 Texas A&M – 8:25 p.m. CT (9:25 ET)
We’ll be back for all of the action tomorrow afternoon.
By Jack Pilgrim on ©March 13th, 2019 @ 8:30pm
Kentucky doesn’t take the floor until Friday at 6:00 p.m. CT (7 ET), but that’s not stopping the Big Blue Nation from scouting potential foes a bit early.
In the SEC Tournament opener between the Georgia Bulldogs and the Missouri Tigers, several hundred Kentucky fans packed the lower bowl of Bridgestone Arena to check out what would be UK’s potential (yet highly unlikely) opponent in the semifinals.
Here are a few more angles of the early batch of attendees, which consists of a wide variety of fans from all 14 SEC teams here in Nashville.
Overall, the crowd turnout is phenomenal, as just about the entire lower bowl and suite level is filled, with fans now trickling into the third level during a “meh” opening-round matchup. In one of the hardest tickets in recent SEC Tournament memory, we’re already seeing the result of that on night one.
As a side note, Devin Booker’s father, Melvin, was also honored at halftime of the first game.
Melvin Booker, who starred at Missouri from 1990-94, was brought out to mid-court as one of the featured “2019 SEC Legends Class” members.
As a senior in the 1993-94 season, Booker averaged 18.1 points per game and managed 143 assists and 41 steals overall, shooting 50.4 percent from the field and 82.3 percent from the free throw line on the year. He led the Tigers to an Elite Eight run in the NCAA Tournament that season.
Every SEC team has one representative at the tournament and will be honored at halftime of each respective team’s first game. Former Wildcat Johnny Cox will represent Kentucky on Friday afternoon.
By Nick Roush on ©March 13th, 2019 @ 4:30pm
LSU administrators and Will Wade have reached a stalemate. Don’t expect the Tigers’ head basketball coach to return to the sideline anytime soon.
Wade was suspended by LSU after reports revealed the head coach on a wiretap discussing a “strong-ass offer” for a recruit that many believe is Javonte Smart. To lift the suspension, LSU administrators have on simple request — explain yourself. From The Advocate:
Athletic director Joe Alleva and other LSU officials made clear Wade could return this season if he changes his mind, agrees to a meeting, provides an explanation for his reported comments on the FBI wiretaps and denies wrongdoing.
“If he (Wade) decides to come in and talk and is persuasive, then Joe (Alleva) and the president … are going to be faced with the decision as to whether to reinstate him,” said Tom Skinner, LSU’s general counsel and vice president for legal affairs. “But … we’re not there yet.”
It’s a reasonable request, but it’s one Wade refuses to fulfill. Wade’s attorney told LSU officials he will not cooperate until after he testifies in the federal criminal investigation into corruption in college basketball. That testimony is not set to take place until April 22, two weeks after the National Championship game.
Wade initially planned to meet with university officials last Friday, but according to Ross Dellenger, he canceled the meeting after discovering NCAA officials would be present. The cancellation promoted administrators to suspend Wade indefinitely.
Even though Wade’s time at LSU is likely done, Javonte Smart could return to play in the SEC Tournament. Smart, his mother and two handlers were interviewed by the school and NCAA officials. The internal investigation is expected to be complete “today or tomorrow.”
LSU begins SEC Tournament at 1:00 tomorrow afternoon. Will Wade will not be anywhere close to Bridgestone Arena, but Smart could return to the Tigers’ starting lineup just in time for postseason play.
Are you ready for the SEC Tournament? Before it tips-off Wednesday night at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Matt Jones and Mary Jo Perino preview all of the action on Hey Kentucky!
Click here to see the rest of today’s episode of Hey Kentucky.