5 Things LSU Basketball Must Do to Make the 2014 NCAA Tournament
5 Things LSU Basketball Must Do to Make NCAA Tournament
The LSU Tigers have been one of the better teams in the SEC all season long. The only problem is Florida and Kentucky are so far ahead of the pack. As a result, the conference is written off and is considered to be top-heavy. Whether the case, the Tigers could still make the 2014 NCAA tournament and we will be looking at five things they must do to achieve that feat.
At the time, a loss to open up the season against Massachusetts could have been viewed as an upset. Now, it just looks like a missed opportunity. The Tigers lost by two on the road and the Minutemen could be in the field of 68.
A win against Memphis on Nov. 29 would have been huge, but wasn’t expected.
The Tigers did beat Saint Joseph’s during their non-conference schedule which could very well be their best win during out-of-conference play.
Losing to Rhode Island was horrible. Unless if you think losing to a team that is currently 3-11 in the Atlantic 10 is a good thing.
A loss to Alabama in SEC play also didn’t help.
Trust me, LSU has done some good this season. For instance, it knocked off Missouri, Kentucky and Arkansas. Those are three great wins.
Still, the Tigers are clearly on the bubble and they have a lot to do if they plan on making the dance. Let’s go ahead and take a look at the five things they must do to actually make the tournament. If they don’t, well, I guess that NIT thing could be fun.
LSU could still make it into the tournament without this win, but I cannot tell you how important a victory against the Florida Gators would be. Only two other teams have done it this season. However, no team in the SEC has beaten Florida and it has won 20 games in a row.
Oh yeah, the game will also be played on the road for LSU.
Absolutely Cannot Lose to Vanderbilt
I understand that playing on the road in college basketball can be a rather tough thing to do, but LSU absolutely cannot lose to Vanderbilt on March 6.
The Commodores may have a 7-8 conference record, but their 15-12 overall record weighs them down too much. Plus, LSU has to show that it is one of the best teams in college basketball if it wants to get off of the bubble and into the dance.
Vanderbilt is not one of the best teams in college hoops. Therefore, losing to a team that is not one of the best would mean the Tigers are not one of the best.
Beat Georgia Convincingly
Georgia is 10-5 in the SEC. It sits alone in third place in the conference standings. However, the Bulldogs beat the Tigers convincingly (by 13 points) earlier in the season and now it is time for LSU to return the favor.
The Tigers will be playing at home. Losing on their home court in the month of March would be a death sentence for them.
I understand that Georgia has been better than LSU in the conference, but the Tigers need to prove that they are a tournament team. Beating the Bulldogs would help with that. Beating them convincingly could push them into the tournament by itself.
Don’t Lose to Another Bubble Team in the SEC Tournament
I am sure bubble teams playing bubble teams is exactly what the NCAA tournament committee wants to see. It makes their lives easier. Maybe that is just speculation, but hear me out.
If bubble team A beats bubble team B, then bubble team B is probably going to be playing in the NIT. That is at least how it should work.
With that said, LSU cannot lose to another bubble team in the SEC tournament.
Make A Run
LSU does not have a good enough resume to lose its first game in the SEC tournament and still make the dance. It needs to win at least one game -- depending on how it finishes the regular season -- but making a run would ensure its spot in the tournament.