News From Around the South
Evan Woodbery, of The Birmingham News, has an interesting story about the Southeastern Conference's leading rebounder and top-5 scorer Arnett Moultrie. Auburn coach Tony Barbee coached Moultrie at Texas-El Paso before coming to Auburn. When Moultrie was released from his scholarship at UTEP, Barbee expected Moultrie to follow him to Auburn. Instead he landed at Mississippi State. To say the relationship between Barbee and Moultrie is strained would be an understatement. The Bulldogs and Tigers play Saturday at 4 p.m. ET.
Kentucky coach John Calipari reminded reporters Friday that the last time a No. 1-ranked Kentucky team traveled to South Carolina the result was an upset-win for the Gamecocks. The Wildcats tip off at Colonial Life Arena in Columbia, S.C. at 6 p.m. ET. Jerry Tipton, Lexington Herald-Leader
Alabama is ranked sixth nationally on defense when it comes to opponents field-goal percentage from beyond the 3-point arc and No. 2 when teams shoot for two points closer to the basket. The Crimson Tide also rank 10th nationally in scoring defense. Don Kausler Jr., of The Birmingham News, talks about the apparent scoring slump junior forward Tony Mitchell is in right now and if Alabama needs to increase scoring if it wants another 2010-11-like winning streak.
In my most recent Bracketology experiment I predicted that Alabama would be in the NCAA Tournament as a No. 11 seed if the season ended at this point and the Selection Committee announced the field of 68. But there are still four weeks of regular-season games to play and an SEC Tournament ahead. The Montgomery Advertiser said Alabama controls its own destiny with its final nine games of the season to play.
CSS Game Balls
Drew Hanlen, Belmont - Hanlen went 7-for-9 from behind the 3-point line and scored a career-high 21 points Friday in the "Battle of the Boulevard". The win over Lipscomb not only settled a score between the two Nashville teams, it kept Belmont tied with Mercer in the loss column of the Atlantic Sun standings for first place.
What to Watch Saturday
(25) Vanderbilt at (12) Florida - The Commodores are 4-2 on the road but Florida, at 12-0 at the Stephen C. O'Connell Center, hasn't lost at home this season. This contest of top 25 SEC teams will come down to whether Vanderbilt can slow down the Gators on offense.
Middle Tennessee State at Denver - With a perfect 10-0 Sun Belt record, Middle Tennessee State travels to play a pretty good 16-7 Denver team. The Blue Raiders' 10-0 start is their best in school history and keeping this momentum is crucial as Middle Tennessee State has sights on March Madness.
(8) Kansas at (4) Missouri - While not technically in the SEC yet, Missouri is going to bring some good quality basketball to the conference. Take an early look at what the Tigers have to offer when they host a fantastic Kansas team.