Day 1 of the SEC Tournament Results aka UPSET CITY!
#13 South Carolina (74) - #12 Auburn (56)
The star of the game for Carolina was clearly Duane Notice. The freshman from Canada scored 23 points in 29 minutes on 7-16 shooting from the field, adding 8 rebounds and 3 assists against just 2 turnovers. Brenton Williams scored all 16 of his points in the first half, and while the offense never looked particularly smooth without him in the second half, Auburn could never really stop the Gamecocks - the 1.651 points on possessions that didn't end in a turnover is just too high for anyone to reasonably overcome unless you're running up a turnover percentage in excess of 30%.
Auburn has fired head basketball coach Tony Barbee, athletic director Jay Jacobs announced Wednesday night. The decision was officially made shortly after the Tigers' 74-56 defeat at the hands of South Carolina in the opening game of the SEC Tournament.
"After careful evaluation of the last four years, I feel this is best for the program," Jacobs said in an official statement. "I believe we should compete for championships in men's basketball. It's time for somebody else to have a turn. We need to find somebody to come in here and take what we have here now and put some more in and compete for SEC titles."
To put it mildly, the Barbee era at Auburn was awful.
Not surprisingly, Auburn Fans want Bruce Pearl as their next coach because if you listen to the likes of Clay Travis and pretty much every reporter on Twitter, he's the guy for every possible SEC job open or otherwise. In fact, I imagine if a football job came open, Travis et al would automatically mention Pearl just out of habit
The deed is done. Tony Barbee is out as Auburn's basketball coach. But, as defenders of any embattled coach will always tell you, you don't improve a program with a firing; you only improve it with a good hiring. So now that the Tigers are in the market, who are the leading candidates?
03/12/14 South_Carolina_vs_Auburn_master.mp4 (via SECDigitalNetwork)
#14 Mississippi State (82) - #12 Vanderbilt (68)
A season of ironman basketball ultimately wore down Vanderbilt. The Commodores were listless and unable to fend off a tourney-opening upset as a devastating 82-68 loss to Mississippi State cut Vandy's season short on Wednesday.
The Bulldogs used stellar shooting in the paint to break down a Commodore team that lacked the firepower to win a shootout. State shot 59.3% from the field to break their 13-game losing streak and ensure that Vandy ended their second-straight season with a losing record. Four different State players scored 10 points or more, led by Craig Sword's 20.
Yes, it's still basketball season. Barely. Mississippi State tries to end it on a positive note by getting a win for the first time in weeks. And get this—State is actually favored.
Interestingly when they put the date and time of the game they indicated, 3:00 pm Saturday at their arena, maybe they know something we don't...
03/12/14 Mississippi State vs Vanderbilt Men's Basketball Highlights (via SECDigitalNetwork)
Day 2's Games
If Day 1's games were the amuse bouche provided by the fancy restaurant that is the SEC tournament, well then day 2 is the appetizer course. Today we've got 4 games, highlighted (at least in our minds) by Mizzou's Noon (central) tip with other Big 12 expat A&M. Below you will find previews available as of the posting of this article.
#8 Mizzou vs #9 Texas A&M - 12:00 pm CT
TV: ESPN3/SEC TV
Mizzou has been almost impossibly bad from the 3-point line in the last two games.Jabari Brown is 1-for-8, Earnest Ross is 0-for-8, Jordan Clarkson is 0-for-6. Wes Clark, meanwhile, is a dominant 2-for-6.
#5 Arkansas vs #13 South Carolina - 2:30 pm CT
TV: ESPN3/SEC TV
The Razorbacks are obviously favored on Thursday, and as all Hog fans know, that means diddly squat. Arkansas should win, but I doubt anybody feels totally comfortable.
It's an interesting contest in that the match-up advantages are incredibly stark - it's hard to see how Carolina's going to score from the field against the Hogs (look at those shooting numbers in particular - 2s will be tough to come by for the Gamecocks), but it's easy to see how they'll create a ton of second-chance opportunities, as well as how they'll be able to get to the line.
#7 LSU vs #10 Alabama - 6:00 pm CT
TV: ESPN3/SEC TV
It's that time of the year again everybody. The weather across the country is starting to warm up (hopefully for all of you), and with it, March Madness is heating up as well. With all of #SECBasketballFever coming together in Hotlanta for the week, anybody within a 100 mile radius will be scorching with the intensity of 1000 suns.
With Alabama laying the hammer on a previously red-hot Arkansas team on Senior Day, the Crimson Tide was able to avoid the Opening Round of Shame on Wednesday, and will instead take on the 7th seeded LSU Tigers (18-12, 9-9 SEC) on Thursday night. I'm sure all of you will recall that Alabama was able to best LSU in Tuscaloosa earlier this season 82-80 with Trevor Releford, Rodney Cooper, and Shannon Hale leading the way.
#6 Ole Miss vs #14 Mississippi State - 8:30 pm CT
TV: ESPN3/SEC TV
That's going to do it for me, enjoy the games everyone and your friend and mine Belegcam will take you through today's results and what we have to look forward to on Friday as well.