Posted: 5:06 p.m. Thursday, March 14, 2013
By Greg Alan Edwards
The 2013 SEC Tournament Day 1 is in the books, and to be honest, it brings a mixed bag of thoughts to mind. There were some head shaking moments last night and Frank Martin leads the list.
Martin basically sat this year's tournament out. He was there, but where was he? Martin seemed distant, uninvolved, and basically like he was going through the motions in his very first SEC Tournament. I don't know any specific reasons for his behavior, however it did seem to contribute to his team's collapse against Mississippi State, even after they had mounted a decent comeback in the second half.
It didn't help that Mississippi State was playing the game of their lives and hitting a boatload of shots they normally do not hit. You have to prepare for that in tournament play though. There is always a team that makes waves that probably should not.Mississippi State may be this year's Cinderella.
South Carolina's first season ends on a rather disappointing 14-18 note, however, Martin played this season as short handed as he has been in quite a long time. I don't expect to see them wallow in this mire. S.C. will be back, and stronger than ever, I believe.
Auburn and Texas A&M; played a pretty tight game for a while as the Tigers were matching A&M;'s shooting at first, but in the end Tony Barbee's kids could not get Elston Turner under control, a concept we should be all too familiar with. Turner went off for 22 against Auburn, and Auburn could not recover.
Auburn's 9-23 season is one that the Tigers would sooner forget, but Barbee will probably be able to use that as a motivator for his club next season. They need one desperately, otherwise, Barbee may become a victim of being a basketball coach at a football school in the SEC.
Today's games bring some interesting action as Mississippi State advances to play Tennessee, and A&M; gets to tangle with Missouri. LSU faces Georgia, and Vanderbilt takes on Arkansas, with the winner of that game to face UK on Friday.