The Texas A&M Aggies and Kentucky Wildcats have been the SEC's two best teams all season, and after sharing the regular season title, they will battle each other to decide who wins the SEC Tournament.
In yesterday's first game, Texas A&M laid waste to the LSU Tigers 71-38. No, I didn't pull an ESPN scoreboard and forget to add in a half for LSU. The Tigers scored eight points in the first five minutes of the game, but they scored just five the rest of the half and finished with just 13 at the break. They didn't reach 20 until an Antonio Blakeney free throw with 13:48 to go in the game, and they're the first team among the Power 5 and Big East to fail to reach 40 in a game.
Tonny Trocha-Morelos led all scorers with 13, while Jalen Jones had 12 and Admon Gilder put in ten. Ben Simmons was the only Tiger in double figures with ten points, and he grabbed 13 rebounds to go with them. LSU shot just 20.6% from the floor and made just seven-of-15 from the free throw line. A&M outrebounded the Tigers 52-40 and had 12 assists to LSU's four. If you, like me, were wondering when the bottom was going to fall out from under the Tigers, this was it.
In the other semifinal, Kentucky used a strong second half to surge past the Georgia Bulldogs 93-80. UGA actually led a couple of long stretches of the first half and led 49-44 at the half. Yes, the Wildcats very nearly gave up 50 points in one period. Georgia held onto the lead for almost the first 12 minutes of the second half until an Isaiah Briscoe layup gave UK the lead at 68-67. The Wildcats pulled away from there, in part due to excellent free throw shooting, and secured the win.
As always, Jamal Murray and Tyler Ulis were the leaders for Big Blue. Murray had 26 points while Ulis had 25, while Derek Willis contributed 14 off the bench. Yante Maten led Georgia with 20 points, while J.J. Frazier had 19 and Kenny Gaines poured in 16. UK made 26 of its 30 free throw attempts, and it finished with a slight rebounding edge at 31-29.