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GAMETHREAD: LSU Tigers vs. Kentucky Wildcats; 6 pm, SECTV/ESPN3

LSU's season hangs in the balance and a familiar foe could either boost the Tigers forward or drive the nail in LSU's coffin.

Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

It's LSU-Kentucky, part 3.

The Tigers tackle the Wildcats in the quarters of the SEC Friday night and they'll need to keep the mojo from their first two meetings.

LSU toppled UK at home in January and should have emerged from Rupp with a win three weeks ago but fell by a point in overtime. There's more on the line here.

The Tigers' season might be on the line. With Arkansas and Missouri losing early in Atlanta and Georgia owning a season sweep of LSU, the three bids a conference can get in the NIT could lock LSU out of even that tournament. LSU needs this game to shore up that bid.

But forget that aspect, because LSU should be thinking bigger. They've played Kentucky well twice and are coming off a great performance against Alabama. On Thursday, LSU rolled thanks to some sharp shooting and a lockdown defense.

That defense needs to show up against a long and talented Wildcat roster. Between the Harrison twins, Julius Randle and James Young, UK can still score in bunches. Yes, they've struggled down the stretch, but I expect a strong effort from Big Blue. LSU needs the Jekyll to show up in the Georgia Dome, not Hyde.

Expect a close game that seesaws in the first half before the teams trade second-half runs. LSU will look like a worldbeater at times, but there's not enough confidence to predict a win. Kentucky should emerge victorious, but if the Tigers are desperate and efficient, LSU is more than capable of staying for the weekend.