Alabama (16-14), which spoiled South Carolina’s Senior Day in Columbia last Wednesday, would like to end the 2010 season for South Carolina (15-15) today as the two teams meet in the opening game of the SEC Tournament at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena at 12:05 p.m.
Could this be the last game for Devan Downey? I sure hope not.
The Gamecocks enter the tournament as the fifth seed in the East Division, but USC the only team in the SEC to defeat the league’s top two teams – Kentucky and Vanderbilt – this season.
South Carolina needs to win its opening round game to secure at least a .500 finish, which it will likely need for an NIT bid. Correction, it must win this game today.
The Gamecocks need superb play from two people today and that is Devan Downey and Sam Muldrow. Success starts and ends with them. Devan needs to get about 25 points today, while “Big” Sam needs to hold his own down low. He must not let Alabama have easy success on the interior. The Gamecocks, as normal, will need a third player to bring “surprising play” to the table whether that is Jackson, Galloway or Raley-Ross. Somebody please step up and provide some points and energy.
This is a pretty good match up – check their RPI here – so it will boil down to heart. Which team wants this game the most?
Alabama will rely on defense and the Gamecocks must have offense. USC will need intensity and a hot-hand shooting the ball.
I feel that Carolina knows what is at-stake today and will seize the moment. I am going to say that Carolina wins this game late due to the play of Devan Downey. USC by 3-5 points somewhere in the ball park of 73-68.
DYK – USC senior guard Devan Downey needs five steals to pass LSU’s Ethan Martin (279) for second place all-time in the SEC. LSU’s Clarance Ceasar leads with 310.