Bulldogs' Bubble Busts and Other Basketball Action

Mississippi State may have ended its at large hopes by losing 89-80 to Auburn in the final game at AU's Beard-Eaves-Memorial Coliseum. Four guys did most of the work for the Tigers as Tay Waller had 22, Brendon Knox scored 21, DeWayne Reed contributed 19, and Lucas Hargrove poured in 16 for the home team. Waller, Knox, and Hargrove all had seven rebounds apiece for Auburn. Dee Bost's 25 paced the visitors from Starkville, though curiously he didn't score a point in the first half.

Mississippi State now more than ever needs to beat Tennessee in its season finale to have tournament hopes. Absent a win there, MSU would need to pick up so many good wins that it would basically need to win the conference tournament in its entirety to get them all.

Elsewhere, Kentucky cruised to a 80-68 win over the feisty Georgia Bulldogs on their senior day. Remarkably, it was UGA's first (and only) home SEC East loss of the season. Patrick Patterson had the night's best line with 17 points, 10 rebounds, and four blocks, while John Wall was the high scorer with 24. Jeremy Price led Georgia with 19 points, while Travis Leslie came up big on the boards for a guard with 10 rebounds. It was the expected outcome for the game as a whole, but Georgia is looking better and better.

In Knoxville, Tennessee delivered the final blow to Arkansas' postseason hopes of any kind with the Vols' 80-73 victory. The Razorbacks hung around for quite a while, until a Bruce Pearl technical with a little under 15 minutes to go in the game sparked a 10-0 run that gave UT breathing room it wouldn't give up. It was a balanced effort for Big Orange as five guys got into double digits but none had more than Scotty Hopson's 15. Courtney Fortson's 21 was the high scoring mark for the game.

Finally, Alabama picked up a road win in Columbia by taking down South Carolina 79-70 on Devan Downey's senior night. The Tide's victory is all the more impressive considering it was without its top scorer JaMychal Green. Justin Knox and Mikhail Torrance picked up the slack by putting in 17 points apiece. Downey scored 23 in his home finale, and Ramon Galloway nearly matched him off the bench with 21. The night's action all but assures Bama of getting the No. 5 West seed in the conference tournament. It's a more preferable spot than No. 4 because the fifth seed in the West likely would get Mississippi State in the second round, while the fourth seed likely would get Kentucky.

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