Tonight in Bridgestone Arena (the big arena by all the bars), the SEC Tournament will get underway in front of the friends and family of the young men who play for South Carolina, Mississippi State, Texas A & M, and Auburn. And, of course, me. What can I say? I love torture.
As a fan who grew up going to the SEC Tournament almost every year from 1992 until now, I always look forward to this weekend. But THIS weekend is even more special for me. It is in my backyard. Not literally in my backyard. Because I don’t have one. But you know what I mean. The place where I sleep is no more than a mile and half from the arena (again, the thing by the bars.) This is my Super Bowl. So when I was offered free tickets to the first session, I couldn’t turn them down.
If you are one of the brave few making the trek into the arena tomorrow night or watching on television, I thought I’d give you a preview in the way only KSR can. The following previews will be delivered with limited facts and research and much ridiculousness.
GAME 1: #12 South Carolina Gamecocks vs. #13 Mississippi State Bulldogs
Wednesday, March 13th at 6:30 p.m. CST
The thing I’m most excited about in this game is Frank Martin in an empty arena. In a rocking Rupp Arena you can still hear Coach Cal yelling sometimes. I can’t imagine how great it will be watching Frank Martin deliver vein popping tirades into the unwilling ear canals of his incompetent players. Honestly, we might see his head explode.
South Carolina is a terrible basketball team. Their best win this year was a 63-62 home win over Ole Miss. Yes, Mississippi. In their defense, Ole Miss is one of our best wins as well. But we beat them on the road. And we’re the #2 seed. So, South Carolina fans that are undoubtedly reading this, shut up.
When I started to write the Mississippi State paragraph, I honestly had no idea who their coach was. I had to look it up. His name is Rick Ray. I bet you didn’t know that either. I don’t blame you. There is no reason to know the name of a coach who led a team to a season record of 9-21 (4-14 SEC). It seems to me that Mississippi State has never recovered from the loss in the championship game to the Cats the last time this tournament was in Nashville. If they never recover, that will be perfectly okay with me.
Previous Meeting(s) this year: The Bulldogs and Gamecocks split their two meetings this season. Both teams won at home. Mississippi State won 56-54 in Starkville and South Carolina won 79-72 in Columbia.
Players that score the most points:
Mississippi State- The Bulldogs have 7 players averaging anywhere between 8.1 to 10.3 points per game. So, really, nobody scores the most points. They score the same points.
South Carolina- Like Mississippi State, South Carolina has no one who scores in bunches. They just have a bunch that score. Six players average between 7.6 points to 11.7 points per game. All SEC freshman performer Michael Carrera averages 10 points and 7 rebounds. And he looks like a young Rick Fox.
My Uneducated Pick: South Carolina
GAME 2: #11 Texas A & M Aggies vs. #14 Auburn Tigers
Wednesday, March 13th at 9:00 p.m. CST
There will be many chubbs in Nashville this weekend. While most of them will be found on dance floors across downtown, one will be taking the floor in Bridgestone Arena. Auburn’s Rob Chubb. Despite having an awesome name that we like to laugh at, Chubb’s Auburn team is simply dreadful. They charge into the tournament having won 1 out of it’s last 16 games. They finished the season 9-22 (3-15 SEC).
After winning their first two SEC games, Texas A & M stumbles into their first SEC tournament by finishing 5-11 in their final 16 games. The bright spot on their season, as we know, was their 12 point victory in Rupp Arena as Elston Turner, III lost his ever loving mind and scored 40 points on the Cats. Outside of that game, the Aggies got home wins against Missouri & Ole Miss, but not much else. I’m looking forward to watching Turner play and hope he can put on a show for his friends, family, and me.
Previous Meeting(s) this season: Texas A&M got the win in Auburn Arena by a score of 65-56.
Players that score the most points:
Texas A & M- Elston Turner averages 17.1 points per game. He has games of 26 (twice), 40 (against UK), 37, 38, 25, & 28 this season. Not bad Elston. Not bad at all.
Auburn- Frankie Sullivan averages 14 points per game and had a season high of 28 points earlier this season against Depaul.
My Uneducated Pick: Texas A & M
I’ll be back by tonight with a preview of Session 2, which will begin tomorrow at Noon central time. Safe travels to everyone headed to Music City this afternoon.