The SEC Tournament will feature four games in the Georgia Dome on Thursday. Teams will battle for the right to take on the conference's top-seeded squads in the quarterfinals. The SEC will wrap up its conference tournament Sunday with an afternoon championship game.
No. 8 seed Missouri will play No. 9 Texas A&M in the first game of the day. The Tigers are firmly on the bubble for the NCAA Tournament after getting blown out by Tennessee on March 8, 72-45, and are looking to bounce back in the SEC tournament. Missouri has done a great job rebounding, but are one of the worst teams in the country at moving the ball. Neither the Tigers nor the Aggies have a winning record in SEC play. When these teams met on March 5, the Aggies lost by one point and ended the game on a turnover.
The No. 7 seed LSU Tigers will be seeking revenge for their Jan. 25 loss against the No. 10 Alabama Crimson Tide on Thursday. The Tigers lost by two points, 82-80, when a potentially game-winning shot by Anthony Hickey was blocked as time expired. LSU has rebounded, scored and passed the ball well all year, but have struggled in conference play to a 9-9 record. Alabama has a losing record on the season, but has shown the ability to scare big-time opponents, losing by no more than nine points in each of its games against ranked teams. The Crimson Tide have the ability to play up to their competition, and senior guard Trevor Releford will be a big part of whether or not they can move on to face No. 2 Kentucky.
Duane Notice scored a career-high 23 points to help the No. 13 South Carolina Gamecocks with an ever-so slight upset over the No. 12 Auburn Tigers to advance to the quarterfinals. The Gamecocks advance to face the No. 5 Arkansas Razorbacks in the second game of the afternoon. South Carolina shot a season high 11 three pointers in the win over Auburn. Arkansas beat South Carolina, 71-64, in the only meeting between the two teams this year. Brenton Williams had 29 points for South Carolina in the loss, but he was the only bright spot for the Gamecocks in the game. Michael Qualls scored 20 points for Arkansas in the win and Coty Clarke added 12.
The lowest seed awarded entry into the tournament, Mississippi State rolled Vanderbilt behind 20 points from Craig Sword. The Bulldogs move on to face No. 6 seed Ole Miss in the final game of Thursday's SEC action. Mississippi State shot nearly 60 percent against Vandy, dominating the painted area in the win. In their only meeting this season, Marshall Henderson and Jarvis Summers each scored 19 points as the Rebels dominated the Bulldogs. None of Mississippi's starters scored more than 13 points.
Thursday's full schedule of games:
No. 8 Missouri vs. No. 9 Texas A&M, 1 p.m. ET, SEC TV/ESPN 3
No. 5 Arkansas vs. No. 13 South Carolina, 3:25 p.m. ET, SEC TV/ESPN 3
No. 7 LSU vs. No. 10 Alabama, 7 p.m. ET, SEC TV/ESPN 3
No. 6 Ole Miss vs. No. 14 Mississippi State, 9:25 p.m. ET, SEC TV/ESPN 3
Here's a link to the full SEC Tournament bracket.