Let’s not forget that I picked Tennessee to win this tournament. It
looks like the Vols are heading to the title game, up nine at the half.
I have to give credit to the Guru, though. Gator radio analyst Mark
Wise told me before the tourney he liked Tennessee as well, but
Mississippi State was his sleeper. The Bulldogs are in the final.
just won’t go away but the Tigers are definitely not getting favorable
whistles. Which goes back to the reason I picked Tennessee. It seems
like they get more calls that go their way than any other team in the
league. I’m not saying it is a conspiracy, just a style of play.
winning will be the best thing that could happen in what has been a
disaster of a tournament. The Vols traveled well to this tournament. An
Auburn-Mississippi State final, well, let’s just say you would have
heard crickets chirping Sunday in the St. Pete Times Forum. Of all the
SEC Tournaments I’ve covered, this has been the weakest. Weak crowds,
weak games. Florida-Auburn was the only excitement of the week. The
league has done its usual adequate job and so has Tampa. But it just
hasn’t been real interesting.
Is this the NBA? Tennessee’s J.P.
Prince gets fouled on a drive to the basket about 10 feet before he
lays it in. Bad call by Doug Shows. I like Doug. Ran into him in the
workout room at the hotel this week. We talked about what newspaper
guys do when they get laid off. Auburn coach Jeff Lebo complains about
the call and gets a bench warning. That’s about the sixth one of those
we’ve had in the tournament.
One reason to like Tennessee next
week is that the Vols don’t rely on one scorer. In this game, Tennessee
has five players in double figures with 5:30 to play and a sixth with
seven points. One reason not to like Tennessee next week – they don’t
When Auburn and Tennessee played earlier this year, the
Tigers outrebounded Tennessee 34-21. There were a lot of long rebounds
on missed 3s and Auburn’s quickness paid off. But it’s a different
story in this game. The Vols have outrebounded Auburn 39-25 with four
minutes to go. Still, Auburn won’t quit and is only down eight.
in the stands is holding up a sign that says, “Go Florida!” A little
late, pods. Down eight with three to go, DeWayne Reed takes a bad
step-back 3 and misses. Could have been a big play. Run some offense.
Tennessee-Mississippi State for the title. Should be a good one.