SEC Basketball: LSU Tigers Preview, 2014 NCAA Tournament Chances

By Taylor Sturm
Crystal LoGiudice-USA TODAY Sports

The LSU Tigers are 13 points away from coming into SEC play with an undefeated record with a final non-conference record of 9 – 3. Their three losses came to the Massachusetts Minutemen, by two, the Memphis Tigers, by seven, and the Rhode Island Rams, by four. Their best wins came against the Butler Bulldogs and the UAB Blazers, so they will be looking for a few key SEC wins in order to improve their resume on the road to the 2014 NCAA Tournament.

The Tigers open SEC play in what could be their biggest game of the season against the Tennessee Volunteers. Both teams are considered dark horses for the SEC, and the winner will carry a lot of confidence moving forward. Because LSU lost its final non-conference game and Tennessee blew out the Virginia Cavaliers by 35, the Tigers will need a good win over a potential 2014 NCAA Tournament opponent to improve their tournament resume.

With teams like the Arkansas Razorbacks, Ole Miss Rebels, Mississippi State Bulldogs, Tennessee, Alabama Crimson Tide and Missouri Tigers all capable of making it to the 2014 NCAA Tournament, the SEC is not going to be easy. LSU is not going to win every game and will need a big win over one of the two conference favorites, the Kentucky Wildcats and Florida Gators.

LSU’s success in the SEC will center around the improved play of Johnny O’Bryant III and Jordan Mickey. Both players are averaging over 14 points a game and nearly eight rebounds. Shavon Coleman, Andre Stringer, Jarell Martin and Anthony Hickey average over eight points a game as well.

Expect the Tigers to have a decent amount of success in the SEC and either become a No. 1 seed in the NIT tournament or sneak into the  2014 NCAA Tournament late. LSU will be a top team in the SEC in the very near future.

Taylor Sturm is an SEC Basketball Writer for Follow him on Twitter @TSturmRS, like him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google

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