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Another SEC Squad Falls…

PHILADELPHIA - MARCH 19:  The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga dance team performs during the game between the Connecticut Huskies and the Chattanooga Mocs during the first round of the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament at the Wachovia Center on March 19, 2009 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Kurt WirthCorrespondent IMarch 21, 2009

Boy, the SEC isn’t doing anything to help its case that this hasn’t been a down year. Tennessee fell today in one of the most exciting games of the first round, although Florida dominated Miami in the NIT to move on to the quarterfinals.

Florida won 74-60 and will now face Penn State in a chance to make the trip to New York City. Auburn is also up big in their NIT matchup aganist Tulsa 51-33 with about 11 minutes left in the game.

Here’s the stats breakdown of both the Tennessee and Florida games.

 

Tennessee vs. Oklahoma State

  • The Aggies shot 56.6 percent, compared to Tennessee’s 42.9 percent
  • OSU outrebounded UT 30-25
  • Neither team had more than 12 turnovers
  • Tennessee attempted 33 threes (made 11)

Not much interesting here, as it’s clear the Vols’ lack of defense cost them the game. Pearl has never been much of a defensive coach, but he needs to find the offense to cover that up next season.

Overall it was a pretty disappointing season for Tennessee fans, as most expected them to win the East and challenge for a Final Four, but instead saw them struggle to a first-round loss.

 

Florida vs. Miami

  • The Gators shot 52.0 percent, compared to Miami’s 41.1 percent
  • Florida owned a 35-21 rebounding advantage
  • Florida had 20 assists, to Miami’s 11
  • Florida attempted 27 threes (made 10)

The Gators clearly simply outplayed the Hurricanes, up 48-32 at halftime. This was a surprising performance for Donovan’s squad, as I fully expected Miami to be a tough out. Penn State is a decent squad, but I’m picking the Gators.

54-38 Auburn now, with 8:16 left. With an Auburn win, they would face the Baylor/Virginia Tech winner.

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