NEW ORLEANS, LA - MARCH 08: Terrance Henry #1 of the Ole Miss Rebels drives the ball up the court during the first round of the SEC Basketball Tournament at the New Orleans Arena on March 8, 2012 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
The good times roll on, as day two of the SEC Men's basketball tournament begins at noon central time in the New Orleans Arena. So, if you're lucky enough to be in the Big Easy for the event, roll yourself out of bed, chase a handful of ibuprofen with a bottle of Abita Andygator, supplement that with a sandwich from Donald Link's Butcher* (might I suggest the pork belly on white bread?), and drag your likely very tired self down to the arena, because today's going to be a fun one.
First, though, let's recap yesterday.
LSU 70, Arkansas 54 - The first half was a close affair, ending in a tie. The second half, though, was all Tiger. Johnny "Judas" O'Bryant notched a double-double, scoring 18 and bringing in 11 rebounds, while ninth-year junior Storm Warren scored 14 points to lead LSU to victory in the play-in game for the distinct honor of being slaughtered by the Kentucky Wildcats.
Alabama 63, South Carolina 57 - South Carolina kept it close for much of the game, even tying it up with about six minutes to go, but JayMychal Green and the Crimson Tide were too much for them to handle. Check out Green's numbers: 33 minutes, 12 points, 7 rebounds, 2 blocks, an assist, and a steal. The guy put up numbers literally all over the box score. Darrin Horn is probably fired as a result of this. Oh well.
Ole Miss 68, Auburn 54 - It was a slow, grind-it-out type of game, with Ole Miss simply wearing down Auburn underneath the glass to eventually snuff out the Tigers. While Auburn never really posed a threat to win, it seemed that Ole Miss never really had command of the game until the final minutes. Nick Williams scored a career high 22, while Murphy Holloway did what Murphy Holloway does by pulling in 13 rebounds to supplement his 13 points.
Georgia 71, Mississippi State 61 -
I'm trying to not let my Schadenfreude overcome me, but I can't fight it back. I just can't. We - after suspending the only McDonald's all-American we've ever had and booting our early season's leading scorer; on the backs of a few inconsistent role players; and under the leadership of a coach known in Oxford for choking away games that matter - finished with the same SEC record and advanced further in the SEC tournament than a team featuring Renardo Sidney, Dee Bost, Rodney Hood, and Arnett Moultrie.
We at the Cup hope y'all somehow keep Rick Stansbury for another decade. This team has Elite Eight type of talent and is easily the second most talented team in the Southeastern Conference, and yet they lose to an atrocious Georgia team in the first round of the conference tournament. Yes, I love this, especially on the heels of the "our STATE" and the constant insistence on behalf of the DaWgZ that they're somehow some sort of basketball powerhouse (hint: consistently beating Ole Miss doesn't make one a powerhouse in anything). Does that make me a jackass? Sure. Does that make me a good Ole Miss fan? Yep. It's how shit works in a rivalry such as ours.
Okay, now, on to today.
NOON, LSU vs. Kentucky - I'd actually cheer for LSU if they pull this off.
2:30 PM, Alabama vs. Florida - This is actually one of the better matchup possibilities this tournament could have given us. This should be a good game so, if you're into that kind of thing, watch it.
6:30 PM, Ole Miss vs. Tennessee -This is going to be a very, very tough matchup for the Rebels. It's also as much of a must win as we've had all season (How many of them have we had now, eight or so?), which lead the more pessimistic amongst us to foregoingly conclude this as a Rebel defeat.
9:00 PM, Georgia vs. Vanderbilt - If Georgia can somehow pull this one off, I'd be much more comfortable about Ole Miss' chances going forward. Vanderbilt, though, has the talent to make this an ugly one.
*Yes, I'm trying to make reference to my favorite eateries in New Orleans. Frankly, even though Ole Miss has no realistic shot of winning the SEC tournament title and bursting into the NCAA Tournamenet, I'd still fistfight a stranger for an opportunity to be in the Crescent City right now. Eat and drink some extra for me, those of y'all fortunate enough to be there.