The Semifinals of the SEC Tournament takes place today and we will see the Vanderbilt Commodores take on the Mississippi Rebels. The game is scheduled for a 3:30 pm (Eastern) start time and will be televised on ABC. Currently the Odds for the game have Mississipi favored by 4 points while the total sits at 131.
Analysis: Despite its rather pedestrian overall record (16-16), Vanderbilt is the SEC's hottest team, ripping off wins in six of its last seven games. After upsetting seventh-seeded Arkansas in the second round (75-72), the Commodores' unlikely journey through the SEC continued on Friday night with an outstanding 64-48 win over No. 2 seed Kentucky, possibly spoiling the Wildcats' NCAA Tournament chances in the process. The Commodores have won five straight SEC tournament games, having gone 3-0 in the tournament last year for their second title. If Vanderbilt can play like it did against Kentucky in the quarterfinals - shooting 50 percent - it will be able to hang with the Rebels' high-powered offense. Kedren Johnson leads the team in scoring, averaging 13.5 points, with Rod Odom at (10.5). Johnson and Odom have each made 54 3-pointers and hoisted a combined 301 as the Commodores try to stretch the defense. Vanderbilt ranks third in the conference in scoring defense, allowing 60 points and allowing opponents to shooting 40.6 percent. Since they've already overachieved, the Commodores can play loose, and that could help them to another upset win.
Ole Miss, which hasn't qualified for the NCAA Tournament since 2002, has stepped up to prove its skeptics wrong in recent weeks, as it has won five of its last six games to improve to 24-8 and further pad its bubble resume. After earning a double-bye into the quarterfinals of this event, the Rebels came away with a 64-62 win over Missouri on Friday night to advance. Ole Miss was on the brink of elimination in its quarterfinal-round bout, as it found itself down by 13 points midway through the second half, but it climbed its way back into the game with a 10-1 run later in the stanza and eventually received the game-winning bucket from Derrick Millinghaus with 1.1 seconds remaining to capture the thrilling triumph. The Rebels' success this season has come behind the strength of their offensive attack, which ranks sixth in the nation at 78.7 ppg. Henderson's field-goal percentage may not seem impressive (.382), but he is among the nation's leaders in 3-pointers (125), which has made him the SEC's top scorer (19.7 ppg). Holloway (14.5 ppg, 9.7 rpg) and Reginald Buckner (9.3 ppg, 7.5 rpg, 2.7 bpg) make up a formidable duo down low.
Pick: I will look to the Over in this one. Mississippi has he ability to score a tone of points in their uptempo offense, while Vandy is starting to score as well, averaging 71 ppg in their last 3 games. These teams met once i the regular season and while that game go to OT, the teams still scored 156 points in regulation. I expect this on to flirt with at least 140.
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