MSG of course stands for Madison Square Garden in New York City, and that's where LSU will be playing next Wednesday AND next Friday. Get excited.
Semifinals (on Wednesday, November 25th times TBA):
LSU vs. (13th ranked) UConn
(9th ranked) Duke vs. Arizona State or TCU
Consolation and Championship (on Friday, November 27th times TBA):
Semifinal loser vs. Semifinal loser
Semifinal winner vs. Semifinal winner
All games, even the consolation, will be nationally aired on ESPN or ESPN2. This is big news. LSU is going to play two games in Madison Square Garden in New York City, and they will both be aired on national television over Thanksgiving, when lots of folks will be watching TV with their families.
LSU doesn't need to win in New York for this to be a phenomenal achievement for Trent and his auspicious bunch of Tigers, but it's a chance for LSU to make a BIG statement on a BIG stage.
LSU certainly made a statement tonight. I was not expecting a win. I wasn't. Western Kentucky is a legit team, and LSU didn't look New York bound after the Indiana State game. I figured that this would be the loss to send our thin team down to earth. I was prepping myself to write a defense of Trent and the Tigers for people who don't realize that losing to Western Kentucky isn't as bad as it sounds. I had it in my mind when I checked the halftime score (WKU 30 LSU 29) right before I went onto the stage for my chorus concert.
I opened up ESPN ScoreCenter right afterwards and learned that it was time to reassess these Tigers.
If I may quote myself from the Season Preview:
Storm Warren is a magnificent athlete with wild potential, but his rawness was painfully obvious last year. He could be very dangerous if he's matured as a player, and we'll find out if he has quickly, because he's our starting Power Forward.
Suffice to say, he has. Storm Warren is no longer just a raw athlete with one of the coolest names ever. He's a bona-fide baller with THREE triple-doubles on the season. Tonight's damage: 20 points, 11 rebounds.
Bo Spencer shook off his 0-5 night and hit 4-9 from the 3-point line, including a huge one to break a tie according to the AP recap (I wish I was there). Taz chipped in 12 points and 8 boards, and Dennis Harris contributed 9 points, which apparently included a 3-pointer.
It looks like Harris is already a terrific replacement for the departed Chris Johnson, while Garrett Green will be a massive upgrade over Quintin Thornton as the bench center. Garrett Green matched Harris' 4 rebounds while also adding a steal, but he only scored 1 point.
Let's not get too proud just yet. Taz is having a cold start. He's just 1 for 10 from the 3-point line on the season (last year he sank 52.6% of his deeps) and he hasn't hit one since the season opener. Tonight, we were 5-15 from deep, raising our team average to a still-putrid 21.7% (10-46).
But it's time to get excited. Our boys get to go to New York, where they hopefully will have a great time. And then they go to Madison Square Garden, a world-famous arena, and play with the eyes of the College Basketball world upon them as they attempt to slay a College Basketball giant or two. Well done, Tigers!