#SECBASKETBALLFEVER

Crystal LoGiudice-USA TODAY Spor

It's your mid week SEC Basketball fix, come get a taste.

Kentucky (68) - Texas A&M (51) - January 21, 2014

A Sea of Blue Reacts

As we move inexorably toward mid-season in the SEC, we're starting to reach a point at which the Kentucky Wildcats must decide if they are going to contend, or if they are just going to be a good team with a lot of untapped potential. There comes a point at which "upside" diminishes in importance, and although Kentucky is not yet at that point, it is getting there fast. As Yoda famously said in The Empire Strikes Back, "Do. Or do not. There is no 'try.'"

Good Bull Hunting Reacts...Instantly!

Aggies lose 68-51 and things feel like they've gone from bad to worse.

01/21/2014 Texas A&M vs Kentucky Men's Basketball Highlights (via SECDigitalNetwork)

LSU (77) - Mizzou (71) - January 21, 2014

And the Valley Shook Reacts

Like last season, this could be the big turning point.

Last January, LSU was 1-5 in the SEC before downing a ranked Missouri squad at home and it was on the rest of the season for the Tigers. The pattern needs to follow.

LSU roundly dismissed notions of a damaging swoon on Tuesday night, holding off every run from a strong Missouri squad and earning arguably its best win of the season. No, this win won't earn the Tigers a bid come March, But stack this along with wins over Butler, St. Joseph's and mostly quality RPI losses, and LSU's resume looks a lot more valid now. More important is how the Tigers did it.

Rock M Nation Study Hall

The more I think about it, the more I realize this is the team we should have expected to have last year: New guys who haven't played together, freshmen who aren't quite ready, minimal senior leadership. When you lose so much of your rotation and have to start over, you lose both chemistry and the talent-and-experience combination. Mizzou suffered from quite a bit of that last season, especially after Mike Dixon's unexpected dismissal/transfer/whatever, but Laurence Bowers' injury and Alex Oriakhi's transfer provided a bit of a lifeline.

But instead of serving as a transition year to get new pieces in place for the future, last season was a black hole. Pressey, Bowers, and Oriakhi left, and almost the entire freshman class -- Dominique Bull, Stefan Jankovic, Negus Webster-Chan -- proved either unworthy or unready.

01/21/2014 Missouri vs LSU Men's Basketball Highlights (via SECDigitalNetwork)

Georgia (97) - South Carolina (76) - January 22, 2014

Dawgsports reacts

Georgia not only won but for the first time in recent memory was never really even in danger in picking up a conference victory (the Hoop Hounds never trailed after the 17:00 mark of the first half). It was the most points the Hoop Hounds have scored in SEC play. Nema Djurisic continued his strong season by setting a new career scoring mark with 22 points, going a perfect 6/6 from the field including 3/3 from beyond the arc.

Garnet and Black Attack reacts

The Bulldogs beat South Carolina in every facet of the game on Wednesday evening, resulting in a deflating 21-point loss that sent the Gamecocks to an 0-5 record in the SEC so far this season.

Video Highlights Were not Available for this Game.

Tennessee (81) - Arkansas (74) - January 22, 2014

Arkansas Fight reacts

Because of the way the game ended, everybody's going to be talking about how this game was just a repeat of the same chorus of the same never ending song.

And in a lot of ways everybody would be right.

The Razorbacks had an eight-point lead with 11 minutes to go but only scored two points in the next six minutes. They still led by two with four minutes to go, then everything collapsed. Arkansas only made two field goals between the 11-minute mark and the 1-minute mark. And that was that.

Rocky Top Talk reacts

If you didn't see it, you missed a lot of tension.  Arkansas jumped out to a 13-6 lead, ensuring tonight wouldn't be easy.  The Vols led by two at the half, but Arkansas used an 11-0 run to surge to a 59-51 lead with 14:34 to play.  And even after Tennessee erased that lead with an 11-2 run of our own, the Hogs still found themselves in front 68-66 at the under four timeout.

At each of those moments, a strong sense of doubt crept in.  Would the Vols lose another home game against a team we should be better than?  How much worse would it be for that team to be Arkansas, who can't beat anybody on the road?  And how many more of these losses could our resume and our coach really sustain before everything fell apart?

But tonight, in each one of those moments, the Vols responded.  It wasn't always pretty, playing at Arkansas' pace and the ups and downs that come with it.  But Tennessee regained momentum every time it gave it away.  And in the final 2:52, the Vols cashed in.

Video Highlights Were not Available for this Game.

Mississippi State (82) - Auburn (74) - January 22, 2014

Neither For Whom the Cowbell Tolls or College and Magnolia had a post game reaction to this game.  FWCBT had a preview, and C&M had a live thread.

But because you are here for information, here is the SEC's recap.

Video Highlights Were not Available for this Game.

Mississippi (63) - Vanderbilt (52) - Januarry 22, 2014

Red Cup Rebellion reacts

Marshall had an awful shooting night until the final minutes, when he dropped a pair of big treys to hold off a second-half Vandy rally and give the Rebels a 63-52 win.

Anchor of Gold does not have a reaction post yet, so here's their game thread. It does not appear that there will be a recap, but if there is I will update the page.

Video Highlights Were not Available for this Game.

Midweek SEC Standings here

It's your Mid week bracketology fix!

Here's Joe Lunardi's latest Bracketology and he has Mizzou as one of the first four out, not altogether too surprising.  Right now he has the SEC getting three teams (Florida, Kentucky and Tennessee) in, which at this point seems about right.

Here's Jerry Palm's latest bracket prediction, and he surprisingly has us sitting at an 11, though this did occur before the LSU loss, so I imagine in his next iteration we'll be on the outside looking in.

Here's SB Nation's Chris Dobbertean's latest bracket prediction and he's got us as a 12 seed in a play in game at Dayton, though like Jerry Palm, this was done the day of the LSU loss, so his next go of it would likely have us out as well.

SEC Fun Facts:
Auburn and South Carolina remain the only SEC teams to not have a conference win.
SEC teams without a road win - Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi State, and Vanderbilt.

Mizzou's Next Opponent - South Carolina, what I took from watching their game last night
The Gamecocks bigs foul, and foul a lot while also not producing much on offense, so they're just like us.  Getting to the free throw line Saturday afternoon should not be an issue.
Watching the game and thinking about how we play makes me think this game would be better off 3 on 3 in a halfcourt where it's our three guards against theirs.  The final score would probably be very similar to what the final score will end up being and potentially higher.
I don't know if this is how they've been playing all year, but they were shooting from 3pt land really, really well and finished above 50% for the game, so knowing that this is something that has burned us in our conference losses this year to to date, we should be wary of giving their guards open looks on the outside.
With regard to ball handling, it was a tale of two halves, first half they took care of the ball pretty well, but then in the second half they couldn't hold onto the ball to save their lives, hopefully Clark and Clarkson took note.
This is a team Mizzou can beat if they have their heads on straight and pull away like they did against 'Bama, if they don't we could be in for a slugfest, an ugly foul happy slugfest.

That's it for your midweek SEC Basketball fix, Belegcam has got you covered for Sunday, and as always, please leave us your feedback in the comments.

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