The Kentucky Invitational continues Friday in New Orleans where we've got the top eight seeds all playing ... except for Mississippi State, which might've ruined its hopes of making the NCAA tournament with its loss to Georgia in the first round. The Bulldogs went from being ranked to losing six of their final eight games. That's not good. It should definitely cost State a spot in the Field of 68. Now the question is whether Rick Stansbury can make it to 2012-13?
Yes, he'll survive.
But he'll enter 2012-13 on the hot seat.
Let's look at Friday's matchups.
Kentucky (1) vs. LSU (8): Congratulations, LSU. You just beat Arkansas to advance to the SEC quarterfinals. Now you get Kentucky. So ... congrats on making it to the SEC quarterfinals.
Florida (4) vs. Alabama (5): This is the SEC tournament's only game of the day between two teams assured of a trip to the NCAA tournament. So the stakes aren't that high. But it's also Billy Donovan against Anthony Grant, his former assistant. And nobody wants to lose a quarterfinal game to their old assistant, do they?
Tennessee (2) vs. Ole Miss (7): Ole Miss advanced to the SEC quarterfinals with a 68-54 victory over Auburn. (I hope Varez Ward had Ole Miss minus the points.) Now we get a matchup between two bubble teams. The loser can plan for the NIT. The winner remains alive for the NCAA tournament. This is one of Friday's most important games.
Vanderbilt (3) vs. Georgia (11): Vanderbilt beat Georgia twice this season by an average of 10 points. So there's no reason to think the Commodores won't win this and advance to Saturday's semifinals. But the Commodores have suprised us before, haven't they?