Posted: 11:40 a.m. Friday, March 15, 2013
By Greg Alan Edwards
Well, that was...interesting. No big upsets. No huge surprises that might lead to storylines for everyone to follow. As a matter of fact, that was about as status quo as it gets in tournament play. Frankly, I was quite surprised.
LSU dispatched Georgia 68-63 in spite of their desolate free throw shooting. 13-28 from the line is not going to get it done in most tournament scenarios. Had Georgia not shot so poorly from the field (only 16-56, and Pope had 9 of those), they would have blown LSU completely out of the water in a second half comeback. LSU only shot 36.8% in the second half, but they were a respectable 43.4% overall.
In the second game, Tennessee got out on Mississippi State early and often as they went up by over 20 on MSU at one point. The Bulldogs were never really in the game and Tennessee used Jordan McRae's 17 points to put away the Bulldogs. Four Tennessee players scored in double figures as the Volunteers polished off MSU 69-53.
In the third game, which produced UK's opponent and cursed them with the dreaded task of having to defeat an opponent three times in one year, Vanderbilt outlasted the Arkansas Razorbacks 75-72. Vandy hit 42.9% from the 3 pt arc on 12-28 shooting. It proved to be too much for an Arkansas team that could not be beat at home, but could not find a way to win on the road. Kentucky will have to find a way to shut down Kyle Fuller and Rod Odom from outside if they intend on making Vanderbilt the victim of a three-peat.
The final game pitted Missouri and the Texas A&M; Aggies against each other. Mizzou was not going to allow the opportunity to be wasted and they downed A&M; 62-50. TAMU was hoping for a run into the SEC Championship game to have an outside shot at the NCAA Tournament. The automatic qualifier or at least a 20 win season was the only way in for the Aggies. Mizzou should have solidified their tournament hopes with that win.
Enjoy the day as Glenn will be bringing you the UK pregame and Ken Howlett and myself will be discussing the UK women and men on WBGN tonight at 5.