On Wednesday, LSU spoiled Senior Night in College Station, as the Tigers beat the Aggies 68-57. Charles Carmouche continued his excellent play of late with 20 points on 9-15 shooting, along with 5 rebounds and 5 assists. This marks Carmouche's fourth straight 20 point performance and his fifth in six games.
After a sloppy first half, LSU led 27-25 at halftime. As you may have guessed, neither team shot the ball particularly well in the first 20 minutes, but in the second half, the Tigers improved significantly and shot 53 percent from the field. In addition, their pressure continued to limit Texas A&M's best players.
On his 23rd birthday and in the final home game of his career, Elston Turner, one of the SEC's leading scorers, was held to 11 points on 4-14 shooting, while Anthony Hickey neutralized freshman point guard J'Mychal Reese, who finished the game with 0 points and 4 turnovers.
Despite a strong effort, LSU did face some moments of uncertainty. Johnny O'Bryant found himself in foul trouble yet again, picking up his fourth foul with 10 minutes left in the game. Fortunately, senior Andrew Del Piero filled in ably, hitting 4 of 6 shots for 9 points and grabbing a pair of rebounds. Del Piero was able to keep JOB III rested until there were only four minutes left in the game. O'Bryant ultimately grabbed another double double, with 11 points and 10 boards.
However, the night ultimately belonged to Carmouche, who scored on three straight possessions in the game's final three minutes, stretching the Tigers' lead from 7 to 13.
LSU improved their record to 18-10 and are now guaranteed at least a .500 record in SEC play. Meanwhile, A&M fell to 17-13 and 7-10 in the conference. LSU's final home game will be on Saturday at 12:30 against Ole Miss. Carmouche, Del Piero, and Eddie Ludwig will be honored for their contributions to the LSU program.
NCAA Seed Watch
At this point, the SEC is likely to get only three or four bids to the NCAA Tournament. Florida will be either a 2 or 3 seed, while Missouri is looking to get an 8 or 9 seed. Things get shakier beyond that point. Ole Miss, Tennessee, Kentucky, and Alabama are all on the bubble right now. Joe Lunardi has Ole Miss, Alabama, and Kentucky all among the the first four teams to miss out, while Tennessee is the very last at-large team to get in.
SB Nation's Chris Dobbertean has similar projections, with Tennessee being the third and final SEC team to get a bid, while Kentucky, Ole Miss, and Alabama are all on the outside looking in.
Tennessee beat Auburn last night on the road, while Ole Miss beat Alabama in Oxford on Tuesday. After Tuesday's 30 point loss to Missouri, it appears as if Arkansas's bubble has popped. The Razorbacks are 18-12 and 9-8 in conference play.
LSU has all but guaranteed themselves an NIT berth with last night's win, but they are ranked 79th in the BPI and hold the 90th spot in Ken Pomeroy's rankings, which should preclude an NCAA invite for now.