The Quarterfinals of the SEC Tournament takes place today and we will see the LSU Tigers take on the Florida Gators. The game is scheduled for a 1:00 pm (Eastern) start time and will be televised on ESPN U. Currently the Odds for the game have Florida favored by 15 points while the total sits at 128.5.
Analysis: LSU held off Georgia in the second round of the SEC tournament Thursday and has won nine of its last 13 games to draw closer to the bubble. The Tigers need a signature win over a team like Florida to impress the selection committee and keep their NCAA Tournament hopes alive. The Tigers switched their lineup for the tournament opener, inserting forward Shavon Coleman into the starting unit and moving center Andrew Del Piero to the bench to make the team smaller and more versatile. Coleman responded with a team-high 24 points on 9-of-11 shooting. LSU could go back to Del Piero on Friday to combat the likes of Patric Young and Erik Murphy on the interior. Either way, the Tigers will probably have to improve at the free throw line after their 13-of-28 performance against Georgia. The Tigers shot 32.3 percent in the 74-52 loss to Florida on Jan. 12. Johnny O’Bryant III, who leads LSU in scoring and rebounding, was limited to 14 minutes in that meeting while recovering from a leg injury. LSU was impressive defensively in Thursday’s win but was 12th in the league in scoring defense during the regular season.
Florida was closing in on a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament until suffering through a rough few weeks. The top-seeded Gators try to get their legs back under them when they open up their SEC tournament play against No. 9 seed LSU today. Florida easily handled the Tigers back in January and entered the week with the third-best scoring defense in the country. The problem down the stretch was on the offensive end, where the Gators were held to an average of 62.7 points over their final six games. The Gators dropped three of their last six to close the regular season, including a 61-57 loss at Kentucky on Saturday. Florida did not reach its scoring average of 72 points in any of those last six contests as several players struggled from the field. Senior guard and leading scorer Kenny Boynton was held to 33.3 percent shooting in those six games. The offensive struggles did not cause the Gators to let up on the defensive end, where their average of 53.2 points allowed and .373 shooting percentage against lead the SEC. Boynton collected 20 points and was one of five players with at least seven rebounds in the win over LSU.
Pick: I like the Gators to get the job done in this one. The Gators have been the best team in the SEC all year, they are rested, off a loss and beat LSU by 22 points in their lone meeting this year. The Gators cold win by that much again in this one.
Reading The March Madness Betting Market
As we head into the month of March, Vegas Runner and RJ Bell will take a look at reading the betting market for this years March Madness