LSU Tigers vs. Georgia Bulldogs (-1, 129)
Louisiana State finished out the regular season with eight wins in its last 12 games to get itself near the NCAA Tournament bubble. The eighth-seeded Tigers will try to get one step closer to at-large consideration when they begin SEC tournament play against No. 9 seed Georgia on Thursday in Nashville. The Bulldogs ended the season strong as well, and took the lone regular-season meeting with LSU at home Jan. 19.
Georgia has some experience trying to knock SEC teams off the bubble. The Bulldogs won home games against Tennessee and Kentucky this month to throw a wrench into both of those schools’ tournament plans. The Tigers will probably need to beat both Georgia and top seed Florida in the next round to catch the eye of the selection committee.TRENDS:
* Under is 4-0 in the last four meetings.
* Favorite is 6-0 ATS in the last six meetings.
* Tigers are 7-2 ATS in the last nine meetings.
Mississippi State Bulldogs vs. Tennessee Volunteers (-13.5, 132)
Tennessee is accustomed to finishing the regular season strong, and hopes to carry that good work into its SEC tournament opener. The fifth-seeded Volunteers take on Mississippi State in the tournament’s second round Thursday in Nashville after winning eight of their final nine regular-season games for the second consecutive season. The Volunteers have played well in close games down the stretch, winning six games by 10 points or less in the past five weeks.
Sophomore forward Jarnell Stokes won conference player of the week last week after posting double-doubles in his past two games. The 13th-seeded Bulldogs lost 13 in a row earlier this season, but have won three of their past four contests. Mississippi State used freshman Fred Thomas’ career-high 21 points to eliminate South Carolina in the first round 70-59 on Wednesday.
* Bulldogs are 3-7 ATS in the last 10 meetings.
* Underdog is 6-1 ATS in the last seven meetings.
* Bulldogs are 4-0 ATS in their last four games overall.
Vanderbilt Commodores vs. Arkansas Razorbacks (-3.5, 125)
Tenth-seeded Vanderbilt and seventh-seeded Arkansas meet Thursday in Nashville with each looking for an improbable run through the SEC tournament. The winner plays second-seeded Kentucky in Friday's quarterfinals. Arkansas will need to make some serious noise this week, probably reach the tourney finals, to play itself back into consideration for an at-large NCAA Tournament bid. Without an SEC tournament title, Vanderbilt will miss the NCAA Tournament for the second time in seven years. The Razorbacks haven't made it since 2008.
The Commodores and Razorbacks split two meetings this season, with Vanderbilt winning Feb. 9 in Nashville, 67-49. Both teams are coming off wins in their regular-season finales. The Commodores dispatched South Carolina 76-64, and the Razorbacks knocked off Texas A&M 73-62. Vanderbilt has never defeated Arkansas in conference tournament play.
* Over is 9-3 in the last 12 meetings.
* Commodores are 5-2 ATS in their last seven games overall.
* Razorbacks are 3-9 ATS in their last 12 neutral site games.
Texas A&M Aggies vs. Missouri Tigers (-9.5, 141)
Missouri opens play in its first SEC tournament Thursday with a second-round matchup against former Big 12 rival Texas A&M. The 11th-seeded Aggies advanced with a 71-62 victory over Auburn on Wednesday in the first round, but the Tigers from Missouri should offer a much more difficult challenge than the Tigers from Auburn. Texas A&M defeated sixth-seeded Missouri during the regular season 70-68.
To do it again, they'll need to contend with the high-powered Missouri offense, which averages 77.2 points. That means Elston Turner, Texas A&M's leading scorer who returned from a one-game absence because of a hand injury to score 22 points against Auburn, needs to have another big game.TRENDS:
* Over is 8-1 in the last nine meetings.
* Aggies are 11-3 ATS in the last 14 meetings.
* Underdog is 5-2 ATS in the last 7 meetings.