Game One for the day is in the books as A&M and Alabama went down to the wire in what looked to be anothher heartbreaker for the Tide in a game they led until the wire. Aggie hit a 3 with 4.2 seconds left, then Collin Sexton went wire-to-wire, hitting an amazing floater as time expired. Alabama probably punched its ticket to the Dance with that shot.
Basketball is fun again. And, there’s still a three-game slugfest in store for today:
- In about 30 minutes, yhe Georgia Bulldogs mauled Vanderbilt yesterday in the first game of the tourney. Their reward is the rested and red hot Missouri Tigers, who went from the doldrums all the way to the 5th seed. Did we mention Michael Porter Jr. is back in action for this one? He is. Stats see this one 79-66 Tigers, and that’s a good call. The Tigers are too long, too athletic, too versatile for the offensively-challenged ‘Dawgs, especially in a de facto home game.
- After the dinner break, at 6:00 Central there’s a weird matchup. The also-hot Mississippi State Bulldogs went from next-to-last in the conference on New Year’s Eve all the way to the 7-seed. LSU has way more talent than the Bulldogs do, and their fabulous freshmen can light it up. That’s offset by the fact that they are literally the worst defense in the conference. Weirdly, these two only met once during the season — the last game, where LSU took the Bulldogs to the woodshed on their home floor. We’ll see if MSU has any answers today for the longer Tigers. As you would expect, this one is expected to be razor-close, 68-67 Tigers. And, really, this game is a coin toss.
- The night cap, scheduled for 25 minutes after LSU-MSU, sees the South Carolina Gamecocks face the up-and-down Arkansas Razorbacks. The Hogs have the better RPI, are a tourney lock, are more athletic — and the stats absolutely hate them. The ‘Cocks, led by Silva, are projected to exploit a sometimes-soft Arkansas defense, 75-69. With a gutty win last night, and a nice quad of wins in the SEC, South Carolina remains alive for post-season play. To advance, they really could use one more high profile W. I think they can get it today.