No. 2 seed LSU will play No. 6 seed Ole Miss in the quarterfinals of the Southeastern Conference Tournament on Friday (SEC Network, 8:30 p.m.) at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville.
The Tigers (16-8) received a double-bye through the first two days of the tournament, while the Rebels (16-10) defeated No. 11 seed South Carolina, 76-59, in the late game Thursday.
LSU is a lock for the NCAA Tournament with a No. 28 position in the NCAA Evaluation Tool (NET) rankings, while Ole Miss is on the tournament bubble with a 53 NET ranking.
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How LSU basketball can win
By getting guard Cameron Thomas the ball. Thomas was the first freshman to lead the SEC in scoring (23.1 points per game) since Chris Jackson averaged an NCAA record 30.2 a game for the Tigers in the 1988-89 season. The Tigers defeated Ole Miss, 75-61, on Jan. 9 with Thomas scoring only four points in four minutes because he left the game with an ankle injury.
If LSU’s troubled defense can avoid giving up an extended run as it tends to do away from home, the Tigers could win comfortably
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How Ole Miss basketball can win
If LSU is lackadaisical, Ole Miss forwards Romello White and K.J. Buffen could take over the rebounding game with guards Devontae Shuler, Jarkel Joiner providing the offensive punch.
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One Key Factor
So goes LSU forward Darius Days, so goes LSU. If Days, who can score inside and outside, is on, it could be a long night for the Rebels.
LSU 91, Ole Miss 79