Sprints Says Goodbye to Four Teams // 3.09.12

Ole Miss dispatched Auburn in one of four SEC Tournament games yesterday.

And then there were eight.

It was almost a complete day where the chalk won in New Orleans. LSU took out Arkansas 70-54 in a balanced effort that saw five Tigers reach double digits in points. Alabama held off a feisty South Carolina team 63-57 in a game in a game that was in legit doubt until the end. Ole Miss then dismissed a reeling Auburn team 68-54 largely by pulling away in the second half.

But then there was Mississippi State. That enigma of a team went out and lost the nightcap to Georgia 71-61 for its second loss to the other Bulldogs this season. MSU is back to being squarely on the bubble after closing out the season 2-6.

Bracketology jambalaya.

One thing all the bracketologists agree on is that this year's bubble is weak. Consequently, no one agrees on just about anything else. ESPN's Joe Lunardi has Mississippi State in the last four in after its loss yesterday, with Tennessee the first team out and Ole Miss nowhere to be found. CBS's Jerry Palm, meanwhile, apparently sent MSU to Siberia as he dropped those Bulldogs from the bracket. He has Ole Miss the first team out, and Tennessee, like MSU, is outside the first four out. Our projection at SBNation has Mississippi State and Tennessee among the last four in with Ole Miss No. 5 on the wait list.

For the record.

Al.com has a source saying Auburn's Varez Ward denies being involved in point shaving. Ward himself will not speak publicly on the matter.

Another great schism?

SI's Andy Staples interviewed a handful of university presidents about the NCAA's proposed $2000 stipend that ended up overridden in a vote of D-I presidents. No surprise here: most BCS presidents think its a good thing for athletes, while the non-BCS presidents largely talked about the additional expense. Tulane's president even thinks that money will end up splitting apart Division I-A with the richest breaking off to form a new division in the next 10-15 years.

Georgia president Michael Adams delivered this great line about the investment required to be at the top level: "A lot of people want to be Division I who don't want to do Division I." Awww snap.

Talkin' playoffs.

The same presidents talked to Staples about their preferences for the football postseason. There was not so simple a divide among them on this issue. Answers ranged from being fine with the status quo (Nebraska's Harvey Perlman) to not caring about size of a playoff, only that it's run by the NCAA (Arizona State's Michael Crow). The only thing everyone agreed on is bringing an end to BCS automatic qualifying bids.

That's not going to help the cause.

Former Georgia TE Orson Charles, who declared for this year's NFL Draft, was arrested for DUI last night. After a reportedly bad pro day, that's going to hurt his draft stock even more.

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