LSU’s loss to Florida helps Vols in Championship Game

Will Wade

"It definitely shifts the momentum and it slows the game down, which is much better for them at the pace they play", LSU junior guard Skylar Mays said of that sequence.

Speculation is apart of sports, but you have to think Tennessee's chances to win an SEC Tournament for the first time since 1979 just got a little bit better.

Auburn pulled ahead early in the second half and stayed in front thanks to Harper, who continually drew fouls driving to the basket and even once while attempting a 3-pointer. Florida won 82-77 at LSU in overtime on February 20. KeVaughn Allen hit a pair of two free throws, and Kevarrius Hayes hit one for a six-point play.

Nembhard, left, of Aurora, Ont., hugs teammate Jalen Hudson after hitting the game-winner.

The Tigers propelled themselves to an 11-4 run to stretch their lead to 13 points, but UF did not let the game get out of hand and closed the first half on a good note. White's group shot just three of eight from the line in the first half. The final ten minute of this matchup went back and forth as the two teams looked destined for their third overtime game of the season.

The Razorbacks don't have any seniors this season, and among the nine players in their regular rotation are six newcomers. Nembhard finished with 20 points, one off his season high, as all five Gators starters finished in double figures and accounted for all but four of their points.

Eighth-seeded Florida (19-14) now will play No. 22 Auburn in a semifinal Saturday after a thrilling comeback that firmed up the Gators' chances for an at-large NCAA Tournament berth. After being fed the ball by Johnson at the top of the arc, Nembhard connected on a three-pointer to give Florida the 76-73 victory.

This game continued to go down to the wire as Florida saw their lead turn into a tied ball game after a Reid three-pointer. During the five minutes when Silva was on the bench, Auburn outscored the Gamecocks by 16 points. "In my head I was thinking what Coach White said: Play off two feet".

For LSU, freshman forward Naz Reid scored 26 points and added 14 rebounds, Javonte Smart scored 13 points, and Kavell Bigby-WillIams chipped in 11 rebounds in the rubber match loss.

Big time shots are better with Mick Hubert audio. I just had confidence in him.

"I knew he was going to hit it", said the Gators' Keyontae Johnson. I'm glad he hit it. "He's been working hard every Sunday taking shots with Coach (Mike) White". "His guys I thought played really well and executed in the second half".

The Gators made it to line 26 total times and converted on 16 of those opportunities, and knocked down six triples in the second half.

While Auburn tries to improve its NCAA Tournament seeding, SC (16-16) waits to see whether it merits an NIT invitation, even though its coach believes his team's capable of much more.

Arkansas won its final three regular-season games against Ole Miss, at Vanderbilt and against Alabama.

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