Thursday’s second game is expected to be the one with the least amount of intrigue and it’s living up to the pre-game expectations. Undersized Auburn has no answer for Vandy’s 6-foot-11 A.J. Ogilvy. He scores eight of the Commodores’ first 11 points.
Auburn’s only hope is to make a bunch of 3s. But even though Vanderbilt hits its first eight shots, the Tigers are still in it with eight minutes left in the half.
- I like Vandy’s team but not its uniforms. The only way to describe the color is drab gold.
- Checking out the scores from other tournament games around the country, but I don’t think they are going to matter for Florida. Watching them practice Wednesday it didn’t look like a team that was excited to be here. In a way, this is just one more reminder of the team these Gators are trying to live up to because this is the site of both last year’s SEC Tournament title and the Final Four.
- Shan Foster is looking like the SEC Player of the Year that he is. He already has 16 with seven minutes left in the half. He and Ogilvy have combined for 30 of Vandy’s first 37 points and the ‘Dores are pulling away. Foster finishes the first half with 19 and is threatening the all-time tournament record of 42 shared by Kentucky’s Cliff Hagan and Melvin Turpin. The story goes that Hagan was in Nashville when Turpin tied his record and was none too happy about it.
- Not surprisingly, by halftime of the second game almost all of the snacks in the media lounge are gone. All that remains are two big bowls filled with fruit. Healthy bunch, us hacks.
- Early in the second half, Vandy gets nailed on a very questionable blocking call. Kevin Stallings screams at official Rick Crawford, “Get there a day early next time!” The next two close calls go Vandy’s way.
- Frank Tolbert is a really good player on a bad team. The Auburn guard blocked an Ogilvy bunny and is keeping the Tigers in the game with his play. You know how this is going to end, but Auburn keeps hanging around. The tournament scoring record is safe. Foster has only three points in the second half with 11:45 to play.
- Quan Prowell, the closest thing Auburn has to a big, fouls out with 11:43 to play after trying to handle Vandy’s big guys. Vandy extends its lead to 15.
- Vanderbilt moves on to face Arkansas in the secound round. I saw John Pelphrey at halftime and the former Gator assistant said, “We need one more win to feel good.” He was referring to the NCAA Tournament. One thing in Arkansas’ favor is that Vanderbilt has not been a very strong team in this tournament. The Commodores are one of two teams (South Carolina is the other) that has never won the SEC Tournament and is the only one of the 12 teams never to make a final.