Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Midweek Games (1/29-1/30)

Kentucky and Florida take the mid-week off after picking up big division wins over the weekend. Everyone else in the league plays tonight or tomorrow night. Here’s what to look for…

Tuesday Night
Tennessee @ Alabama

The Crimson Tide are coming off their most impressive game of the season, a 97-77 drubbing of Auburn. The Tide averaged 1.4 points per possession (PPP), significantly higher than season average 1.1). The Vols rebounded from a loss in Lexington to thump Georgia. This will be a much tougher test as they don’t have a good matchup up for Richard Hendrix down low, which is where Kentucky hurt them. If Alabama shoots the ball well from beyond the arc tonight, they’ll win. My hunch though is that the Tide are unable to match their weekend performance against the more-talented Vols. UT wins a close one on the road.

Wednesday Night
Georgia @ South Carolina

While the Gamecocks have shown some signs of life since HC Dave Odom announced his season’s-end retirement, it’s hard to see them being too much of a factor in a division with Florida, Tennessee, Vanderbilt, and a resurgent Kentucky team. For this game though, they’ll be the superior team. They’ll handle a depleted UGA team.

Mississippi State @ Arkansas
The Bulldogs are finally living up to their preseason expectations as they’ve plowed through their first 5 SEC games 5-0. A win in Bud Walton Wednesday night would give them a 3-game in the division and make MSU very difficult to catch. Both teams are coming off impressive blowout wins. MSU ranks 2nd in the nation blocks per game (8.6) and Arkansas will be without a key inside player in Charles Thomas. In what could be the game of the night, look for the home crowd in Fayetteville to be the difference as Arkansas will hold serve at home.

Vanderbilt @ Ole Miss
Just a few weeks ago, these two teams were the darlings of the SEC. Both were undefeated and in the top 15 in the country, but have now fallen on rough times in the conference. For the Rebels, it seems their youth and inexperience in the backcourt is being exposed while teams are starting to take advantage of Vandy’s lack of a true inside presence. That’ll be the difference here. Look for Dwayne Curtis and Kenny Williams to have big nights against a soft ‘Dore middle as the Rebels right their ship… at least for the moment.

LSU @ Auburn
The John Brady farewell tour pulls into Auburn Wednesday night. The Tigers fell apart Saturday in Tuscaloosa, but have beaten a more-talented Ole Miss team in Auburn. They shouldn’t have many problems with LSU. Auburn already overcame a 15-point deficit to win in Baton Rouge. Duplicating that in the friendly confines of Beard Eaves won’t be an issue.

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