March 10, 2011

Previewing Vanderbilt vs. LSU

LSU Tigers (11-20, 3-13) at Vanderbilt Commodores (21-9, 9-7)

Where: Georgia Dome (26,000), Atlanta, Ga.

When: Thursday, 9:00 p.m. CST

TV: SEC Network

Radio: Nashville: 97.1 FM

Rankings: Vanderbilt is ranked 24th in the ESPN Poll, LSU is not ranked

Warren Nolan RPI: Vanderbilt 26, LSU 220

The line: Vanderbilt by 13.5

Sagarin prediction: Vanderbilt by 19

Pomeroy prediction: Vanderbilt 77, LSU 60 (VU has a 95 percent chance of victory)

Series record: VU leads 58-48, and won in Baton Rouge earlier this year

PlayerHt.Wt.Cl.PPGRPG Pos.PlayerHt.Wt.Cl.PPGRPG
Brad Tinsley6-3210Jr.10.63.9 PG Andre Stringer5-9170Fr.11.1 2.3
John Jenkins6-4215So.19.43.1 SG Ralston Turner6-6193Fr.12.82.6
Jeffery Taylor6-7225Jr.14.55.3 SF Matt Derenbecker6-7185Fr.6.62.1
Lance Goulbourne6-8230Jr.6.87.1 PF Storm Warren6-7230Jr.7.55.7
Festus Ezeli6-11255Jr.12.96.2 C Malcolm White6-9226Jr.7.75.2


It's been a long and miserable run through the Southeastern Conference Tournament for Vanderbilt since the event was reinstated in 1979. The Commodores have the worst record (18-32) among the league's 12 teams in the event, and are the only team not to have been to the title game in that span (everyone else has been at least twice).

VU also limps into the event having lost its last two games, and three of its last four overall.

The good news? The 'Dores drew the league's easiest opponent in the first round in Atlanta in an LSU team which went just 3-13 in the league. The young Tigers limped to the finish line, having lost 13 of their last 14 games.

Six of those defeats came by 20 or more, and two more came by double-digit margins. And at 22-31, the Tigers are only slightly better than Vanderbilt in SEC Tourney play.

The two teams played just two weekends ago, when the Commodores trailed at half, but recovered to pound the Tigers by a 90-69 count in Baton Rouge.

In the first go-round, LSU was able to stay in the game through the first half behind a career-best 24 points by Storm Warren and freshman Ralston Turner>.

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