LSU continued it's up and down season of late with a big win at Vanderbilt, 57-51. It was their first road win since January 11 when they beat South Carolina, the second worst team in the SEC. As a result, they held onto their slim hopes of reaching the NCAA Tournament, while just about locking down an invite to the NIT if they fail to make the big dance.
Johnny O'Bryant was his usual disruptive self down low. The big man finished with 25 points and 10 boards, while staying out of foul trouble and playing very focused all night long. LSU won with defense, and the script of their win is a huge step in the right direction. For the first time I can remember all season, LSU was trailing for most of the game until they took the lead in the final minutes when Shavon Coleman hit two free throws to give the Tigers a 2 point lead with 3:02 to play. LSU controlled the rest of the game, holding on for the win and a huge shot in the arm as they approach post-season play.
LSU will host Georgia (17-12, 11-6 SEC), the surprise team of the league, at 4pm in the PMAC on Saturday. While Georgia currently sits at third in the SEC, LSU matches up well with them and should be able to close out the regular season with a win.
From there the Tigers will head to the SEC Tournament in Atlanta, where they have earned a first round bye and currently stand as the sixth seed. Their first game will be Thursday, March 13. If they want to go dancing, they will need a deep run while knocking off some quality opponents in the process. Ultimately, I think they will fall just short of an NCAA Tournament bid, but this team will be playing in the post-season, and they are a threat to anyone they face.