South Carolina vs. Mississippi State

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* A few years ago, former South Carolina coach Dave Odom compared forward Dominique Archie to NBA first-round draft pick Renaldo Balkman because of his defensive intensity, athletic ability and energy. It didn’t materialize right away, but Archie is beginning to show that promise. Archie is a plus defender who has improved finishing around the basket.

* Is there a better on the ball defender in the league than South Carolina junior Devan Downey. He’s such a pest. Credit Mississippi State coach Rick Stansbury’s gameplan for keeping Downey from becoming a factor offensively. The Bulldogs held Downey to six first-half points.

* I thought before the game Mississippi State center Jarvis Varnado would present problems for South Carolina inside. Varnado struggled early but came on of late with his rebounding and ability to block and alter shots around the basket.

* Well, the first upset of the SEC Tournament is officially complete — Mississippi State 82, South Carolina 68. This could really help Florida. South Carolina was among ESPN bracket guru’s first four teams on the bubble going into today. This loss will probably knock the Gamechickens off the bubble.