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LSU (19-12) vs. Kentucky (22-9)



The Sports Network

DATE & TIME: Friday, March 14, 7 p.m. (ET)

FACTS & STATS: Site: Georgia Dome (71,228) -- Atlanta, Georgia. Television: SEC Network, ESPN3.com. Home Record: LSU 13-3, UK 16-2. Away Record: LSU 3-8, UK 5-5. Neutral Record: LSU 3-1, UK 1-2. Conference Record: LSU 9-9, UK 12-6. Series Record: Kentucky leads, 94-35.

GAME NOTES: The SEC Tournament quarterfinals will continue at the Georgia Dome on Friday night, as the second-seeded Kentucky Wildcats take on the seventh- seeded LSU Tigers.

A spot in the semifinals against either Georgia or Ole Miss is on the line in this matchup.

The Tigers recorded their best win of the season on Jan. 28 when they upset then-11th-ranked Kentucky at home, 87-82, but the Wildcats had their revenge on Feb. 22 in Lexington, 77-76 in overtime. UK holds a comfortable 94-35 advantage in the all-time series.

LSU (19-12) came into the tournament having lost two of three, but after earning a bye into the second round it got back on the winning track with a 68-56 victory over 10th-seeded Alabama, securing a nine-point lead at halftime and never surrendering that advantage down the stretch. They shot 50 percent from the field on the evening (including 11-of-22 from 3-point range) while holding the Crimson Tide to just 36 percent shooting. Shavon Coleman led the way with 15 points on 5-of-9 from beyond the arc. Tim Quarterman scored 12 points in 12 minutes off the bench, Johnny O'Bryant III and Jarell Martin netted 11 and 10 points, respectively, and Jordan Mickey narrowly missed a double-double with nine points and 11 rebounds.

The Tigers' offensive attack this season has been impressive, scoring 75.4 ppg, and they are led by a strong duo in the frontcourt of O'Bryant (15.5 ppg, 7.8 rpg) and Mickey (12.9 ppg, 7.7 rpg, 3.2 bpg), with both shooting greater than 49 percent from the field. Andre Stringer, Anthony Hickey, Martin and Coleman all add to the balanced attack, with each scoring between 8.7 and 11.7 ppg.

Second-seeded Kentucky (22-9, 12-6) is the conference's most storied program, having won 27 tournament titles, although only two of those have come since 2005. Once considered one of the nation's elite teams, the Wildcats have shown plenty of flaws in recent weeks with losses in three of the last four games, including an 85-64 drudging at the hands of No. 1 Florida in the regular- season finale. The well-balanced Wildcats outshoot their opponents from the field, 45.2 percent to 40.1 percent, for a +9.2 scoring margin, and their rebounding margin is second-best in the nation (+9.8), although their percentages from 3-point range (.316) and the foul line (.684) have been lackluster. Each of the team's top four scorers are freshmen. Julius Randle has established himself as a premiere power forward with 15.4 ppg and 10.5 rpg, James Young pours in 14.4 ppg and Aaron (13.5 ppg) and Andrew Harrison (10.8 ppg, 3.5 apg) have tremendous chemistry in the backcourt. Sophomore Willie-Cauley Stein puts up 7.4 ppg and 6.3 rpg and has been a difference maker on defense with 2.8 bpg and 1.1 spg.

Kentucky is far from a sure bet at this point in the season, but its lengthy layoff has likely allowed it to hit the reset button and regroup. It should be a close matchup like the first two meetings between the teams, but figure for the Wildcats' superior talent to win out in the end.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Kentucky 76, LSU 73

03/14 10:31:08 ET

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Final
CREI 65
NCCU 45
 
Final
NCSU 68
SFLA 65
 
2nd
MIA 39
CHA 36
 
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CHA 36
 
2nd
MEM 33
LAC 27
 
2nd
BOS 37
POR 27
 
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GMAS 60
COC 61
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FSU 69
UMASS 75
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SHSU 53
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UNCG 67
YOUNG 76
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CMICH 75
ARKPB 43
 
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SILL 67
Final
MORE 46
AMER 51
Final
CORN 59
DREX 61
Final
CCST 60
COOK 65
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ARKLR 94
CSNO 88
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LEH 44
CLMB 54
 
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USB 89
MERMAR 54
 
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NMU 51
TEXAM 64
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STLU 56
TAMCC 62
 
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FAIR 80
SD 72
Final
EMICH 79
LONG 48
 
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ND 74
PROV 75
 
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RAD 88
CATAWBA 52
 
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DEN 80
COPST 54
 
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UAB 58
JST 50
 
Final
WICHS 105
NWM 57
Final
OKLA 90
NWST 68
Final
KSU 59
YALE 66
 
Final
CREI 65
NCCU 45
 
Final
NCSU 68
SFLA 65
 
Final
UCR 102
STKAT 49
 
Final
PSU 63
USC 61
 
Final
HC 101
NICHOLSCOL 70
 
Final
BC 53
DAY 65
 
Final
MON 75
TOWS 79
 
Final
HOF 93
WAGN 71
 
2nd
CIN 49
EILL 42
 
2nd
UGA 68
FATL 53
 
2nd
BRAD 49
NCAT 37
 
2nd
LATU 68
PBY 45
 
2nd
RUTG 66
Terriers 67
 
2nd
SAMF 52
UMKC 41
 
2nd
NAVY 42
BING 49
 
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SHU 28
GWEBB 18
 
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UNT 23
IONA 21
 
1st
KENT 39
MNTST 11
 
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FORD 24
MLOWELL 23
 
Half
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USCU 37
 
1st
SCAR 6
AKR 10
 
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HOU 13
CIN 22
Final
ATL 24
CLE 26
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NEP 34
DET 9
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MIN 21
GBP 24
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IND 23
JAC 3
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CHI 21
TAM 13
Final
PHI 43
TEN 24
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SDC 27
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4th
SFX 10
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