2015 SEC Basketball Tournament for March 12: Who, what, where, and when

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Mandatory Credit: Joshua Lindsey-USA TODAY Sports

#5 TEXAS A&M  20-10 (11-7)
#13 AUBURN TIGERS 13-19 (4-14)

If you listen to the bracketologists, the Texas A&M Aggies are squarely on the bubble for the NCAA Tournament.  That perch is somewhat tenuous as loss today would probably send them to the NIT.  The Aggies have lost three of four games and the last two losses, to Alabama and Florida, have been by a combined five points. Adding to their concern is the fact that leading scorer Danuel House may not play or will be limited.  Danuel House leads this team in scoring with 14.8 points and is a dangerous long-range shooter, hitting 40% of his three pointers. If he can’t go Davonte Fitzgerald or Peyton Allen will take his spot.  6’7 Jalen Jones averages 13.6 points and leads the team with 6.6 boards.  6’9 F Kourtney Roberson averages 9.0 points and 6.2 rebounds.  The Aggies play great team basketball and attack the boards well.  If the Aggies win, they would face LSU, whom they have defeated twice already.  A win against the Tigers would put them firmly in the NCAA.  Hopefully House can see some minutes then. You figure he may be rested today and may not play.

Auburn is led by senior guard KY Harrell who averages 18.1 points a game. He has been on fire lately with back to back 24 point games. Harrell has launched 203 three pointers on the year and makes 43.3% of them. Antoine Mason, a transfer from Niagra, averages 15.1 points and hits 40.8% of his three pointers. 6’7 Cinmeon Bowers has been big in the paint, averaging almost a double-double with 12.6 points and 9.7 rebounds. Bowers and Mason were really not a factor last night, combining for just 9 points, yet the Tigers still won.  Alex Thompson, who came into last night’s game averaging just 2.3 points and hitting 13.8% from long-range was the unlikely hero. If  This is not a good rebounding team however as the Tigers average 31.3 rebounds a game, which is 307th in the NCAA, however they beat the Bulldogs on the board 34-27.  If they can keep that up and if Thompson can give the Tigers some more March Magic, the Tigers could have a shot.

Texas A&M already has two wins over the Tigers this year, by the scores of 71-61 and 80-55.

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  • Aside from Kentucky, the Commodores are the hottest team in the SEC as they have won five straight games and eight of their last ten.  The only two losses were three point losses to Tennessee and Florida.  And this Commodores team lost to Kentucky at Rupp by just eight points, 65-57.  6’10 C Damian Jones averages 14.3 points and 6.2 rebounds a game and hits 54.8% of his shots.  He also blocks 2.0 shots a game.  Freshman Riley LaChance has been playing well recently and averages 12.5 points a game and has an A/TO ratio of 2.0.  6’7 F James Siakam hits 62.9% of his shots and averages 9.1 points and 5.9 rebounds.  Another freshman, Matthew Fisher-Davis is the designated sharpshooter, hitting 40.3% of his three pointers and averaging 6.9 a game.

    Tennessee has seem their stock stumble from a possible bubble team to a team needing a miracle with a 2-8 record in their last ten games.  Josh Richardson is having a great year and leads the Vols with 15.6 points, 4.2 rebounds and 3.7 assists.  Armani Moore, at 6’5, leads the team in rebounds with 6.8 boards and averages 10.8 points.  points.  Kevin Punter averages 10.2 points a game.  The Volunteers have been an exercise in frustration for their fans as they have wins over two ranked teams in Arkansas and Butler but this current streak has them out of postseason play.

    It’s kind of interesting that the two in-state rivals have met just once this year as Tennessee beat Vandy 76-73 in Nashville.  That game went to overtime and is a real headscratcher considering both of these teams last ten.

    #6 MISSISSIPPI REBELS 20-11 (11-7)
    #11 SOUTH CAROLINA GAMECOCKS  16-15 (6-12)

    The Ole Miss Rebels probably have a NCAA bid locked up, but their seeding has taken a big hit lately.  The Rebels are 3-4 in their past seven games and they have lost to every team they need to beat to improve their seed.  They lost to probable NCAA teams Arkansas, LSU, and Georgia plus Vanderbilt.  That lack of good wins lately could affect them.  Stefan Moody can take over a game with his shooting and averages 16.6 points.  For a 5’10 guard, he can rebound, averaging 3.5 boards.  Moody is a streaky shooter, hitting 35.5 from long-range.  Jarvis Summers is having a rough year offensively but still averages 12.3 points. Ladarius White hits 40.2% of his three pointers and averages 10.9 points.  The Rebels are a pretty solid team on the boards and are led by Sebastian Saiz’s 5.4 boards and Martavious Newby’s 5.0.  It should be noted that this team put up 86 points against Kentucky, although they lost in OT.

    If there is a team from the opening day that can go on a bit of a run, it may be South Carolina. The Gamecocks have a pair of wins over Georgia and recently took #21 Arkansas the distance, falling 78-74. They enter this game having won three of four.  Sophomore guard Duane Notice leads the team with 11.9 points a game, and Tyrone Johnson with 10.1. John also distributes the ball well and has an A/TO of close to 2.0. Sindarius Thornwell averages 10.9 points and 4.9 rebounds. 6’5 Michael Carrera leads the team in rebounding with 5.6 a game and has 6.6 points. The Gamecocks buy into the team concept and play with a lot of hustle. That makes up for the 40.7% shooting percentage and 29.5% from three-point range.  And even a NCAA bid is not going to happen, a win tonight can put this team into NIT consideration.

    These teams met once this season, with Ole Miss winning 65-49.

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