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LSU men still in on latest ESPN.com, CBSSports.com brackets

As the LSU men’s basketball team awaits its fate from the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Selection Committee, the Tigers are still sitting on the brackets of the national experts as of Sunday morning.

With little movement expected today, LSU is punched in as the No. 10 seed in the West region in the eyes of CBSSports.com bracketologist Jerry Palm.

Palm has the Tigers playing No. 7 seed Michigan State, which takes on Wisconsin on Sunday for the Big Ten Conference tournament title, in Portland, Oregon.

Joe Lunardi of ESPN.com has LSU (22-10) as one of his last four teams in and playing in a first-round game against Boise State in Dayton, Ohio.

The winner of that game will go onto the 11 line in the West region to take on No. 6-seeded Providence in Columbus, Ohio.

LSU will find out if it made the 68-team field, and who it will play, on the NCAA Basketball Selection Show at 5 p.m. Sunday (CBS).

Opening Tip: Auburn vs. LSU

Opening Tip is posted about five hours before each game this season.

General Info

  • What: No. 13 seed Auburn (14-19) vs. No. 4 seed LSU (22-9)
  • When: 2:30 p.m. Friday (approximately)
  • Where: Bridgestone Arena, Nashville, Tenn.
  • All-time series: LSU leads 84-65
  • Last meeting: LSU 84, Auburn 61 (at Auburn, Feb. 24, 2015)
  • TV: SEC Network
  • Radio: WDGL-FM, 98.1; WWL-AM, 870; KLWB-FM, 103.7
  • In game Twitter updates: @MicklesAdvocate
  • Up next: To be determined

Starting Five

  • RETURN OF MICKEY?: LSU forward Jordan Mickey, who bruised his left shoulder against Tennessee on March 4 and missed the regular-season finale at Arkansas last Saturday, should return against Auburn. But it’s unknown how much he’ll play or how effective he’ll be.
  • THE FOUR SEED: LSU is the fourth seed for the SEC tournament after coming in second in a four-team tie-breaker with Georgia, Texas A&M and Ole Miss for the third and fourth seeds. The Tigers, a seven seed last year, won one game before falling in the quarterfinals to Kentucky.
  • JONES IN THE TOURNAMENT: LSU coach Johnny Jones, who’s 61-35 in three seasons at the school, is 2-2 in his first two SEC tournament appearances. The Tigers beat Georgia and Alabama in the second round the past two seasons, with losses to Florida and Kentucky.
  • IT’S BEEN AWHILE: The only SEC tournament title for LSU came in 1980, the year before Jones joined the program as a point guard, when the Tigers topped second-ranked Kentucky 80-78 in the championship game in Birmingham, Alabama. Forward DeWayne Scales was the tournament MVP.
  • GETTING HOT: When Auburn won its first two games here, it marked only the third time in the last 30 years it won multiple games in the SEC tournament. The Tigers’ run to the quarterfinal round is the first for a team seeded 13th or lower since the league went to 14 teams in 2013.

Know Your Opponent

  • Auburn has been on a roll since limping into the SEC tournament with six consecutive losses. But the 13th-seeded Tigers defeated Mississippi State on Wednesday night and came back 18 hours later to upset No. 5-seeded Texas A&M on Thursday. No one has to tell LSU about what Auburn can do after it dropped an 81-77 decision in Baton Rouge on Feb. 5, a game in which Auburn guards KT Harrell (28) and Antoine Mason (24) combined for 52 points. LSU held that duo to 20 points in the rematch on Feb. 24 and won going away with a big second half. In addition to Harrell and Mason, forward Cinmeon Bowers is among the SEC leaders in scoring and rebounding. He was a force in the game in Baton Rouge, but was frustrated by LSU’s defense un the second meeting. Auburn shoots just 40.7 percent from the field, but is almost as good from 3-point range at 34.6 percent.

The Lineups

Auburn (14-19)

Probable Starters

  • G K.C. Ross-Miller, 6-0, Sr., 7.2 ppg, 2.3 apg
  • G TJ Lang, 6-7, Fr., 2.5 ppg, 1.3 rpg
  • G KT Harrell, 6-4, Sr., 18.4 ppg, 2.9
  • F Cinmeon Bowers, 6-7, Jr., 12.3 ppg, 9.6 rpg
  • F Jordon Granger, 6-8, Jr., 4.8 ppg, 3.4 rpg

Top reserves

  • G Antoine Mason, 6-1, Sr., 14.3 ppg, 2.4 rpg
  • G Malcolm Canada, 6-3, Sr., 5.2 ppg, 2.6 rpg
  • F Alex Thompson, 6-9, So., 3.1 ppg, 2.2 rpg

LSU (22-9)

Probable Starters

  • G Jalyn Patterson, 6-1, Fr., 6.5 ppg, 2.6 rpg
  • G Keith Hornsby, 6-4, Jr., 13.2 ppg, 4.2 rpg
  • G Tim Quarterman, 6-6, So., 11.4 ppg, 4.0 apg
  • F Jarell Martin, 6-10, So., 16.9 ppg, 9.0 rpg
  • F Jordan Mickey, 6-8, So., 16.0 ppg, 9.9 rpg

Top reserves

  • G Josh Gray, 6-1, Jr., 7.4 ppg, 4.0 apg
  • C Darcy Malone, 7-0, So., 1.0 ppg, 1.4 rpg
  • F Brian Bridgewater, 6-5, So., 2.2 ppg, 1.0 rpg

LSU coach Johnny Jones expecting Mickey to play Friday

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – LSU coach Johnny Jones said Thursday afternoon he expects forward Jordan Mickey to play in the Tigers’ opener in the Southeastern Conference tournament on Friday.

Mickey, who was named to the All-SEC first-team on Tuesday, missed the regular-season finale against Arkansas last Saturday with a bruised left shoulder that he suffered on March 4 in a loss to Tennessee.

LSU received a double-bye as the No. 4 seed in the SEC tournament and will meet 13th-seeded Auburn around 2:30 p.m. Friday. The game will actually tip off 25 minutes after the conclusion of the Kentucky-Florida contest, which begins at noon.

Jones said Mickey practiced this week with no problems and expects him to be ready for Auburn, which advanced with a 66-59 upset of fifth-seeded Texas A&M on Thursday.

Jones said a final determination on Mickey would be made when his team got together later Thursday for an updated scouting report on Auburn, which split two meetings with LSU this season.

LSU signee Simmons wins Naismith boys player of the year award

LSU basketball signee Benny Simmons of Montverde Academy in Florida was named Thursday the 2015 Naismith Trophy boys high school player of the year.

Simmons joins former Randy Livingston, who won the Naismith award in 1993, as the only two LSU signees to win the honor.

A list of previous winners includes Alonzo Mourning (1988), Jason Kidd (1992), Kobe Bryant (1996) LeBron James (2003), Shabazz Muhammad (2012) and Andrew Wiggins (2013).

Simmons, the consensus No. 1 player in the nation, signed with LSU in November. As a senior, he’s averaged 28.0 points, 4.0 assists, 11.9 rebounds, 2.6 steals, and 1.5 blocks for 28-1 Montverde Academy, the two-time national high school champion.

Simmons also won the Morgan Wootten Award earlier this week, given annually to the best player on the McDonald’s All-American rosters.

He will play in the McDonald’s All-America game in Chicago on April 1, then travel to New York City for the Dick’s High School national tournament.

The 6-foot-10, 230-pound Simmons is also scheduled to play in the Nike Hoop Summit and Jordan Brand Classic in April.

LSU Nashville alumni chapter hosting pep rally Thursday night

The Nashville Chapter of the LSU Alumni Association and Tiger Athletic Foundation will host a pep rally on Thursday night leading up to the men’s basketball team’s quarterfinal game Friday in the Southeastern Conference tournament in Nashville, Tennessee.

The pep rally will be held from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Thursday at the Omni Hotel, 250 5th Avenue South in downtown Nashville.

There will be complimentary snacks for fans as well as a cash bar.

LSU, the tournament’s No. 4 seed, will play either Texas A&M, Mississippi State or Auburn on Friday, 25 minutes after the conclusion of the first game at noon featuring top-seeded and undefeated Kentucky.

LSU officially in Legends Classic set for Nov. 23-24

The LSU men’s basketball team’s appearance in the Legends Classic at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, was made official on Tuesday.

The Advocate reported in late November that the Tigers would participate in the championship round of the event at the home of the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets on Nov. 23 and 24 although the other teams hadn’t been finalized at that time.

Several weeks ago, CBSSports.com, citing sources, reported that LSU will be joined by North Carolina State, Marquette and Arizona State. That was confirmed Tuesday although specific matchups won’t be announced until later.

The four participating teams will each host a pair of regional round games on their respective campuses before meeting in Brooklyn on Nov. 23-24 for the Championship Rounds.

All four games of the Championship Rounds will be televised on the ESPN family of networks.

Tickets for the Legends Classic will go on sale to the general public on Thursday, March 12 at 10 a.m. They can be purchased online at www.barclayscenter.com or www.ticketmaster.com, or by calling 800-745-3000.

LSU players rake in All-SEC honors from Websites

LSU forwards Jordan Mickey and Jarell Martin were named Monday as first-team selections on the All-SEC team picked by Scout.com, while Mickey was also a first-team pick of Collegehoopsdaily.com.

Mickey was named player of the year by collegehoopsdaily.com and was chosen defensive player of the year by Scout, which named LSU sophomore guard Tim Quarterman its most improved player.

Guard Keith Hornsby was tabbed a second-team selection by Scout, while guard Jalyn Patterson was included on that site’s All-Freshman team.

Quarterman was also chosen as the league’s top sixth man by Collegehoopsdaily.com because he’s started only 38 percent of LSU’s games.

LSU women’s RPI now at No. 56; latest bracketology

With one week to go before selection Monday for the NCAA women’s tournament, the LSU Lady Tigers’ RPI has inched up again.

LSU rose one notch to No. 56 in Monday’s official RPI rankings. The Lady Tigers (17-13) were No. 58 after beating Texas A&M 71-65 in Friday’s SEC tournament quarterfinals and No. 57 even after losing 74-54 in Saturday’s semifinals to South Carolina.

LSU’s modest climb is likely attributed to the fact that it played four games this season against South Carolina and Tennessee, which met in Sunday’s SEC tournament final (South Carolina won 62-46).

Tennessee is now No. 2 in RPI and South Carolina is No. 3, so strength of schedule of your opponents plays a factor.

In Monday’s projections, ESPN women’s basketball analyst Charlie Creme continues to show LSU holding on the No. 10 seed line. He has the Lady Tigers meeting No. 7 Rutgers in an Oklahoma City Regional first-round game in Waco, Texas.

The NCAA women’s tournament field will be announced at 6 p.m. March 16 on ESPN.

LSU guard Hornsby shares LSWA Player of the Week Award

LSU guard Keith Hornsby, who sank a 3-point basket from the corner as the buzzer sounded for a huge 81-78 upset of No. 18 Arkansas on Saturday, was named co-winner of the Louisiana Sports Writers Association’s Men’s Basketball Player of the Week Award on Monday.

In hitting the game-winner against Arkansas, Hornsby scored 13 points. Coupled with his career-high 25-point performance in a loss to Tennessee on Wednesday night, he averaged 19.0 points a game. He also had 10 rebounds and four assists in the two games.

Hornsby shared the award with Southeastern Louisiana’s Cedric Jenkins, who averaged 29.3 points a game in three outings last week, including tying SLU’s Division I scoring record with 39 points against New Orleans.

LSU still No. 10 seed on NCAA bracket of ESPN.com’s Joe Lunardi

The LSU men’s basketball team remained on the No. 10 line of ESPN.com bracketologist Joe Lunardi that was updated Monday morning.

But Lunardi now has LSU going against seventh-seeded Oregon in the Midwest region in Omaha, Nebraska.

On Sunday, after LSU’s upset of Arkansas, Lunardi had the Tigers playing against No. 7 Iowa in the East region at Omaha.

There was no update Monday morning from CBSSports.com bracketologist Jerry Palm, who Sunday had LSU as a No. 10 seed playing seventh-seeded Wichita State in the Midwest region at Louisville, Kentucky.