The SEC Tournament for 2013 got underway on Wednesday, with the favorites, Texas A&M, as well as the outside shot, Mississippi State, getting the job done on the night. They will now progress through to play Tennessee and Missouri, respectively, in the second round.
However, before we look that far ahead in the tournament, there were plenty of talking points to emerge from the opening night of action in the SEC—some of which could have a profound impact on the way in which the rest of the tournament unfolds.
Read on to see the biggest talking points form the start of the SEC Tournament.
Mississippi State Keeps Rolling On
Buoyed by a career-high 21 points from Fred Thomas, Mississippi State continued its incredible winning streak by toppling South Carolina in the opening round. Granted, three wins in four games isn't much of an incredible winning streak, but when it comes after 13 straight losses, it's definitely worth mentioning and could well give the Bulldogs a lot of momentum going forward.
Perhaps most incredible was their three-point percentage, which was a very strong 7-of-15 in this one despite being ranked last in the SEC for that category.
The Bulldogs were able to pull away from their opponents with ease in this one following a 13-0 run, and if they can continue to get that type of production from their offense through the remainder of the tournament, then they could be a very tough team to handle.
Texas A&M Clean Up on the Glass
It certainly wasn't the most inspiring performance from either team in this one, and certainly not from Texas A&M—who really should have won this more comfortably than they did.
The Aggies shot at just 44.9 percent from the field on the night—including some very poor misses—but were able to emerge with victory in hand. And largely thanks to their dominance on the boards, which could be a big factor going forward in the tournament.
They picked up 37 rebounds compared to just 24 of their opponents, with eight of those being allowed to Asauhn Dixon-Tatum in the space of 19 minutes.
Coming up against the third-best rebounding team in the country in Missouri, the Aggies' ability to snare big boards and keep their opponents from picking up easy second-chance points could well turn out to be a deciding factor in their next match.
What's Next for Both Teams?
Mississippi State's next match in the SEC Tournament will be against Tennessee, on March 14, 2013 at 3:30 p.m. ET (per tournament schedule).
The Bulldogs lost 72-57 when they played them earlier in the year.
Texas A&M will also be in action Thursday when they take on Missouri, scheduled for March 14, 2013 at 10 p.m. ET (per tournament schedule).
The Aggies suffered a 55-49 overtime loss when they played earlier.
Who's your pick for the 2013 SEC Tournament?
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