Around the Georgia Dome - SEC Day 1

ATLANTA – Smiles often turn upside down in the Georgia Dome this time of year. The first day of SEC play did not have much down to the wire action. But several of the teams involved in today's games are still hoping to get a bid to the Big Dance. Here is a quick look at today's action around the Dome.

Auburn – the Tigers turned in a poor offensive performance against Georgia. Auburn about snuck back into the game in the second half but Georgia's hot shooting prevented them from clawing back.

Impact of game – Auburn will likely end their season in Atlanta. They are 14-14 overall.

Georgia – The Bulldogs realize that they need to get back onto the NCAA bubble today with a win over Kentucky. The Bulldogs disposed of Auburn in the first game of the day but they will need a win over Kentucky to bolster their chances of NCAA play.

Impact of game – Georgia is still alive for the NCAA Tournament.

South Carolina – The Gamecocks gave their best performance in weeks and probably locked down a NCAA birth as a result. Carolina dominated Arkansas from the tip off and never looked back. Some think that the Cocks need one more win but I think that they are in.

Impact of game – Carolina can start dancin'

Arkansas – a once proud basketball tradition in Fayetteville is in need of serious work. Stan Heath and his bunch of Hogs were not in the same league as South Carolina.

Impact of game – Hogs have been cooked; they finish the season 12-16.

Ole Miss – The Rebels attempted a second half comeback against Vanderbilt in the opening game of the second session. But pinpoint shooting knocked Ole Miss from 10 points back to nearly 20 in less than 3 minutes.

Impact of game – Ole Miss finishes the season 14-16 and with no post season tournament.

Vanderbilt – the Commodores did not hurt their chances of getting into the NCAA Tournament with their dominate performance against Ole Miss. Had the Doors lost the game to the Rebels they would have been squarely on the bubble.

Impact of game – Vandy is likely in the NCAA with the win.

Alabama – The Tide wasted no time (like the rest of the winners in the first round) getting a lead. Bama poured in 45 points on Tennessee by the time one half of play was over. The Vols never recovered.

Impact of game – Bama is now likely in the NCAA Tournament; now they are just trying to improve their seed.

Tennessee – The Volunteers didn't ever get going against Bama and as a result found themselves in too big of a hole to get out of by the time the game got to the second half. The Vols have some very talented players but it seems at times that they play more like individuals rather than a team.

Impact of game – Tennessee will likely participate in the NIT next week.

OVERALL THOUGTHS:

Today's games shows one thing if nothing else: the Eastern Division is better than the Western. Eastern teams won all game on the day except the final game of the night. It probably proves that the East is deeper than the West but the fact that only three Western schools remain shows the lack of depth in that division of the SEC.

Crowds were better than I have seen lately in the opening round of the SEC. Both lower levels of the Dome were relatively full of fans from the 12 schools. With Kentucky fans taking up more than their share of seats even though the Cats didn't play.

Marcus Sikes turned in the most impressive performance of the day with his record 8 for 12 3-point shooting and his 25 points.

Other superlatives;

Best Band – Alabama

Best Cheerleaders – Arkansas

Loudest cheering section – South Carolina's first half crowd was the loudest of the day. They were also positioned behind press row so they might have sounded the loudest.

Most annoying question – "Why is Kentucky scared of y'all?" asked by about every member of the media after Georgia beat Auburn.

Best move of the day – Tennessee point guard CJ Watson's around the back dribble to lay up during the first half of the game between Bama and the Vols.


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