Men's Basketball Bounced from SEC Tournament, 76-73

Jose Verdugo
Marcha 16, 2019

Florida fell behind 35-25 after the first half of the LSU game, but stormed back on a 51-38 clip in the second to bag a 76-73 victory and move on in the tournament.

Not that a nail-biter should have been a surprise. "They don't play as many people as we do, which we knew going into the game, it was going to be an advantage for us".

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LSU (26-6) was a 3 ½-point favourite and had won five straight without coach Will Wade, who remains suspended indefinitely despite asking Thursday to rejoin the Tigers for the post-season. "Absent that, the university is in a very hard position with regard to compliance with NCAA requirements, and until Coach Wade talks to university administration about this, he remains suspended". The Tigers did win in the regular season, but that was a road game for the Vols and didn't play their game.

Smart scored 13, but it wasn't enough. Asked if he had any knowledge of the offer Wade reportedly discussed on the Federal Bureau of Investigation wiretap, Smart said no. Found me. I had to let it go. "I heard guys [say] when there's an interim coach, you're not getting any calls".

Wade's stand-in played a key role in the outcome when he picked up a technical foul with 3:45 remaining. KeVaughn Allen is leading the team with 12.1 points per game while Noah Locke is adding 9.6 points per contest.

Arkansas was down 15 (51-36) with 6:11 left before Jones spurred a 15-2 run by scoring 11 points (six free throws, a jumper and a 3-pointer) to trim the Razorbacks' deficit to two, 53-51, with 1:02 left.

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Samir Doughty doesn't remember exactly who it was, but recalls at some point, a Florida player actually telling him that his legs were exhausted.

"Naz kind of pushed through the screen, the pin down of the defender", Benford said. I just questioned the ref on it.

"Unfortunately, I probably shouldn't have gotten the T, looking back on it", Benford said. "I've thought that the whole season, but I think we showed it tonight". "If he felt like he could go by, go by, we had a backside rebound". Senior center Kevarrius Hayes earned praise from head coach Mike White after the game for posting 8 points and 7 rebounds in 32 minutes. Then, with one second left on the clock, Gators guard Andrew Nembhard stepped up from 3 and buried it, giving Florida its final lead and deciding the final score: 76-73 Gators. It went in and LSU was out.

LSU was without their head coach Will Wade after being suspended because of cheating allegations brought to life by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

In 27 previous SEC Tournaments, Arkansas is 26-26, won the 2000 championship, has reached seven finals and 14 semifinals.

But teams from major conferences such as Arkansas could see their NIT opportunities affected because nine No. 1 seeds in mid-major conferences already have lost in their tournaments. That sort of thing.

This is the first SEC tournament meeting since Florida recorded a 78-69 win in the first round in 2010. Florida (19-14) has been on the bubble down and needed a win or two in the SEC tournament to go into Selection Sunday feeling good about its position.

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