On The SECond Day

By Jeff Lippman - March 07, 2008

Of all the conference tournaments going into their second round of action Friday, perhaps the most intriguing is the SEC.

Nashville, Tenn. plays host to four games, two of which should come with predictable outcomes, the other two are wide open.

No. 1 LSU plays the eight seed, Ole Miss - last year's NCAA darlings - after the Rebels handled in-state rival Mississippi State in the first round. I really don't think the Lady Rebs have an upset in them against the defending SEC tourney champs. Coach Van and his enforcer senior center Sylvia Fowles have repeat on their mind.

In the 2:30 p.m. game, you can expect No. 2 Tennessee to breeze past the Florida Gators, the seven seed. Florida, though, needs a win over the Lady Vols in the worst way. At 18-12 and 6-8 in the SEC, the Gators most likely need that win over a Top 5 opponent to grab an at-large NCAA Tournament berth. It's possible and a win over the Lady Vols might just be enough for coach Amanda Butler in her first year at the helm.

Games three and four of the day should prove to be excellent matchups. The 6:30 p.m. game features No. 4 Kentucky, who advanced to the quarters with a first round bye, versus No. 5 Georgia, who probably thinks they are better than their seed indicates. The Bulldogs beat up on Alabama in the first round. Kentucky had a better-than-average SEC season to grab that four seed, but something tells me they go down tonight. At 14-14 overall, the Wildcats probably aren't looking at an NCAA Tournament berth, either. Georgia is most likely in regardless of tonight's outcome, but they still have lots to prove to themselves, if anything.

The nightcap is a pretty sweet little three vs. six matchup between Vandy and Auburn. The Tigers had to defeat No. 11 Arkansas, which they did by 22 points, to earn the right to meet the Commodores in the quarters.

Auburn has all the talent in the world to the pull the upset and you just know that coach Nell Fortner has some postseason tricks up her sleeve. Vanderbilt had an excellent year after losing so much talent from last year's squad. The Lady 'Dores are most likely an NCAA lock. Auburn, however, may need this game to secure a spot. At 20-10 and 7-7 in conference, the Tigers could use that 21st win, especially against a Top 25 opponent like Vandy, to get off the bubble.

A loss and they could be on the outside looking in.

Game Schedule:
No. 1 LSU vs. No. 8 Ole Miss (noon)
No. 2 Tennessee vs. No. 7 Florida (2:30 p.m.)
No. 4 Kentucky vs. No. 5 Georgia (6:30 p.m.)
No. 3 Vanderbilt vs. No. 6 Auburn (9 p.m.)

Posted by Jeff Lippman at 07:47 AM on March 07, 2008

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