Just like Kim Anderson's flight last week, Miss St plane loses engine leaving Columbia, makes emergency landing http://t.co/Vwzk9H6EBy— Dave Matter (@Dave_Matter) February 15, 2015
It happened this week my friends, mark this date down in your calendars, for this week SECBASKETBALLFEVER jumped from a human to a non living object. The planes by which our coaches and teams travel have caught the fever.
First this past Wednesday, Mizzou Head Coach Kim Anderson's flight to Illinois was forced into an emergency landing after, in his words, the right propeller stopped propelling. Then, last night, leaving from the same airport, the plane the Bulldogs of Mississippi State were traveling on, leaving from Columbia lost an engine, and they were forced to make an emergency landing in St. Louis.
This much is clear to me, the fever is now infecting the machines, and it's epicenter is Columbia, Missouri. Steer clear all those who can, for those in the hot zone it's already too late, run while you can, SECBASKETBALLFEVER takes no prisoners and is coming for you like the Smoke Monster that it is!
This was the half week that was in the SEC...
Ole Miss (62) - Florida (61)
For Florida, losing to Ole Miss is not a bad loss, but taking a loss on your home floor in February when you need a win to start solidifying any chance to get in the tournament and this was a missed opportunity. Like a few teams in the SEC Florida hasn't been able to put a consistent lineup on the floor game in and game out, and while the Gators have all the talent in the world, talent can't override the cohesion the Rebels have developed. A big win for Ole Miss, a tougher loss for the Gators.
Entering Thursday's trip to Gainesville, Joe Lunardi had Ole Miss at a solid 10-seed in the NCAA Tournament, playing the despicable West Virginia in the equally despicable Pittsburgh. A win over bracket-perennial Florida doubtless bolsters the Rebels' argument for March Madness inclusion, and indeed it makes a possible 8-seed seem not entirely absurd. The Rebels host Arkansas on Saturday for a rematch of seismic proportions, insofar as the Razorbacks have climbed their way back to no. 24 in the AP poll.
A different guy made the shot over different Florida defenders. A different Gators player had his fine, best-game-of-the-season efforts wasted.
The outcome, though, was the same.
Hell, this recap could've been the same as the last one from a Florida loss to Mississippi.
Stefan Moody's deep three-pointer with two seconds remaining put Mississippi up 62-61 on Florida in this game, and an M.J. Rhett steal of Jacob Kurtz's in bounds pass put the Gators out of their misery on this night.
Auburn (69) – Georgia (68)
Going on the road and winning is never easy, going on the road and winning against a top team even harder, but that's exactly what BBQ'ing Bruce Pearl's Auburn Tigers did at Georgia. KT Harrell scored 11 points in the final five minutes and what would be the game winning free throw with less than one minute left. He did it with threes, layups and free throws, pretty much everything you could ask for really. Georgia had chances at the end but couldn't get over the final hump with a bad pass and a missed shot at the end of regulation.
I'll be honest, I did NOT see this coming. It wasn't until just before game time that Auburn announced Antoine Mason was returning to the team to play, though he would not start. Tahj Shamsid-Deen is now out for the season and needs surgery on his shoulders.
The expectations were that the Tigers would not be able to handle the Bulldogs. Georgia's RPI is 22. They will very likely be in the NCAA Tournament. The game was in Athens.
The Georgia Bulldogs suffered a disappointing and resume damaging loss on Saturday as they fall 69-68 to Auburn. Offensive struggles plagued the Bulldogs for much of the day and an offensive surge by the Tigers' KT Harrell down the stretch proved to be too much for Mark Fox's club.
Kentucky (77) - South Carolina (43)
What's there to say at this point that hasn't already been said? Kentucky is great and everyone else when they play them is exposed as not great. After a close win over LSU on Tuesday, Kentucky came out at home refreshed and put a beating on South Carolina that was not appropriate for children. I'M BORED KENTUCKY...BORED!
The Kentucky Wildcats came out in this game and played, for the first time in five or six games, the kind of basketball they became famous for in the pre-conference season. Kentucky came out and just grabbed this game by the throat and held on from tip to horn. The South Carolina Gamecocks were never a factor at any point.
Two things that you don't need talent to possess are effort and fight. It is often disheartening for viewers, coaches, teammates, etc. if athletes perform without those moving characteristics. Frank Martin brought up those qualities at halftime and after the game. "He said he didn't think his team put up a fight," ESPN reporter Kaylee Hartung said at halftime after interviewing Martin. "He said his team didn't win the effort battle against Kentucky."
LSU (73) – Tennessee (55)
I’m not going to say that LSU has got anything figured out because let’s be honest, in a matter of hours they could go back to being the essence of SECBASKETBALLFEVER. But for the past two games they’ve looked like the team we thought they’d be. Coming off a shot at the upset of the season, LSU dismantled Tennessee on the road on Saturday being led by Jordan Mickey with another double double. Tennessee meanwhile can’t seem to win at home of late, showing that everything is crazy. Turn. Down. For. What.
What had been the Tigers' Achilles heel the last couple ball games is what secured the win. LSU shot from the free throw point line at a whopping 80-percent in the first half and followed it up with a 75-percent in the second half. Hornsby, Quarterman, Josh Gray, and Bridgewater each batted 1.000 on the night. The "M&M Boys" went a combined seven for 11 from the charity stripe.
LSU is bigger, deeper, and more talented than this Tennessee squad. This wasn't exactly a surprise, more of a known defect. These things are going to happen. Should they happen right before a far more talented, far deeper, and somehow even bigger Kentucky squad walks in? It's probably not good, but it happens. Anyway, LSU jumped out big early, the rest of the game didn't matter, and so it goes.
Mississippi State (77) - Mizzou (74)
For Mizzou fans this game was just like every other one this season. No semblance of consistency from their young team, a defense that can't get out of its own way with a propensity for fouling everyone and another loss. Just once I'd like to write about Mizzou winning...JUST ONCE. On the other side of things Roquez Johnson and Craig Sword went off and took care of the Tigers, scoring 22 a piece. I've heard this song before, and I've seen this movie already, somebody, change the channel.
As of Publication Date, For Whom the Cowbell Tolls does not have a Recap Up
Still, I had no idea a team could, for an entire season, look this scattershot in terms of who's good and who's bad from game to game. The header above is amazing. Mizzou got its best game of the season from at least two players (J3, Rosburg) and maybe two more (Shamburger, Allen) and lost to Mississippi State at home because everybody in the backcourt not named Shamburger was awful. And because Mizzou cannot. Stop. Fouling.
Texas A&M (63) - Florida (62)
For the second time this week, Florida lost by one and continued its downward slide to the middle of the pack in the SEC. A&M meanwhile bounced back after a mid week loss to Georgia and looks to parlay this win into an invitation to a dance in March. A&M continues to ride on the backs of Jalen Jones and Danuel House in their first season with the Aggies after plying their trade at SMU and Houston respectively, while getting a 20 point out of nowhere game from Kourtney Roberson.
As of Publication Date, Good Bull Hunting does not have a Recap Up
Florida's lost four straight games for the first time since 2007-08, and is, at 12-13, under .500 in February for the first time since 1996-97; the former group of Gators, though, at least made the NIT, while the latter missed postseason play for the only time in Billy Donovan's first 18 seasons in Gainesville.
Vanderbilt (76) - Alabama (68)
Goodbye Anthony Grant, I'm going to miss you. What your VCU team did lo those many years ago with Eric Maynor knocking Duke out of the big dance was so nice, alas, your Bama team keeps losing, and at home to Vandy isn't going to help. Vandy shot 80% from the line and got a nice road win in the process. Damian Jones was again the man for the Commodores putting up 20 and getting Vandy their first SEC road win of the season; Alabama meanwhile just couldn't keep up and fell apart at the end.
Five different players scored in double figures for the Commodores, led by Damian Jones's 20 points. The team made 28 of their 35 free throws three days after poor shooting from the charity stripe had doomed the 'Dores against UT.
In what has become a common theme, last night clearly wasn't Alabama's night. The Tide made 23 field goals to 21 for Vanderbilt including 11-24 on threes vs. 6-15 for the Commodores, Alabama grabbed 38 rebounds including 14 on the offensive end while Vandy had 30 total and only five on the offensive boards. 'Bama only turned the ball over seven times and had 11 assists. Sounds like a recipe for victory, right? Then how did they lose Saturday night by a score of 76-68? Free throws is the answer. In a sport when home court typically gives a team an advantage in such matters, once again that did not happen in Coleman Coliseum. Vandy made 28 of 35 free throws, while the Tide only attempted 17 and made 11.
Arkansas (71) - Ole Miss (70)
Arkansas lost at home to Ole Miss earlier this year, then they beat Ole Miss on the road last night...yeah, that's exactly how the narrative is supposed to go right? Ole Miss had won six straight and had a chance to get a firm hold onto second place in the league, but Arkansas, now winners of 7 out of 8, have taken second and don't look to be relinquishing it. Manuale Watkins knocked in the game winner with less than seven seconds on the clock and will never have to buy a drink in Fayettville ever again.
As of Publication Date, Red Cup Rebellion does not have a Recap Up
The Razorbacks led most of the game, but lost the lead midway through the second half, but took it back with six seconds left on Manny Watkins layup from Ky Madden and the Hogs come out of Oxford with their 20th victory of the season, and a huge top 50 road win for their NCAA Tournament resume.
And there you have it friends, the SEC over the weekend, with a dash of Thursday thrown in. The fever is real people, head to your nearest fall out shelter because it's out there and it's taking over, perhaps even this very device that you're reading this on right now....
Belegcam will be back with you on Thursday, until then I bid you adieu.