DEVILLE: Sunday was your lucky day

If you are the type of fan that loves the hustle and bustle of a busy sports day on campus – Sunday would have been your lucky day.

Anytime there is a basketball game in the Maravich Center, parking can be tough on the athletic portion of the LSU campus. Now imagine tossing in a softball tournament as well as the opening weekend for Tiger baseball and things can get pretty hairy.


But that was the case Sunday.


Things were far from cozy in trying to get on campus Sunday afternoon for the Lady Tigers SEC showdown with the Georgia Lady Bulldogs. One could imagine a large crowd would attend, especially with LSU fresh off an historic win over the Tennessee Lady Volunteers in Knoxville last Thursday. But toss in overflow parking for the Purple & Gold Challenge at Tiger Park and the third game of LSU's baseball series with North Florida made the slow moving bumper to bumper traffic down Nicholson Drive less than accommodating.


While navigating the labyrinth of cars and fans in an effort to get to the PMAC was a 20-minute headache, once settled in, Sunday afternoon was the perfect exclamation point for one awesome week of LSU sports.


Things got started Wednesday night when John Brady's Tigers did there best to raise the blood pressure of the collective fan base with a thrilling 78-77 win over the Arkansas Razorbacks.


Things looked to be going according to plan for almost 36 minutes as LSU dominated Stan Heath's club on both end's of the floor. But in the wake of one of the sickest dunks these eyes have ever seen by LSU's Tyrus Thomas, the Razorbacks went on a 14-0 run taking a two point lead with less than a minute left.


But as he has done so many times before, Darrel Mitchell came through when it mattered most. Already owning a game-winning shot this year against West Virginia, the 5-9 senior got to atone for the one he missed at UConn. From virtually the same spot on the floor where he missed the game-winner in Hartford, Mitchell buried the three-bomb with 11 seconds left saving LSU from what would have been a devastating loss at home to the Hogs.


Mitchell made a strong case for SEC Player of the Year with his 27 point effort against Arkansas, but he took a step back when he was a non-factor in the Tigers loss Saturday at Florida. The Gators' schemed Mitchell completely out of the game, got both Thomas and Glen Davis in severe foul trouble and rode the hot hand of Lee Humphrey all the way to a 71-62 win over the SEC-leading Tigers.


The Tennessee men beat Georgia in Athens Saturday evening and are now in sole possession of first place in the SEC. Don't fret though, the Tigers are still a game up in the SEC Western Division over Alabama and have a pair of very winnable games this week against Mississippi State and Auburn.


While the men fell out of the SEC's top spot, the Lady Tigers took a stranglehold on the women's league standings with their historic victory in Knoxville. At the time this column is being written though the Lady Tigers are currently trailing Georgia 42-40.


We'll keep you updated.


More on the win in Knoxville . LSU defeated Tennessee for their first time ever on the Lady Vols home floor. The Lady Tigers snapped a 16-game losing skid at Thompson-Boling Arena.


Sue Gunter is smiling somewhere.


Baseball and softball got going this past weekend. My man Brent Golleher was out at The Box for the Tigers three game set with North Florida.


By the way, it is 54-46 Lady Tigers with 4:40 left in the game. Looking good for Pokey's Posse at this time.


Can't say I made it out to the ball park, it was in the 30s most of the day Sunday. And no wonder, the Sunday matinee went into extra innings. I can recall the coldest day of my life came – not at a football game – but at an LSU baseball game back in 2002. LSU managed to beat Long Beach State that day when the temperature never got above freezing. And you guessed, they won it in extra innings on a Matt Heath home run.


I'll gladly sit here courtside in the PMAC and let Brent sit bundled up in the press box at the baseball stadium. That is one of the perks of being the boss I guess.


By the way, the softball teams swept the P&G Challenge (props to freshman Dani Hofer who tossed a no-hitter Saturday against Northwestern State). But after winning the first two games of the series, the LSU baseball team fell to the Fighting Ospreys of North Florida 4-3 in 10 innings. Let the Smoke-bashing commence.


At any rate, not real sure where this column is going other than the fact it was really fun having this job this weekend. And if I am not busy enough this time of year, there is always the fact spring football is just around the corner. LSU dons the helmets and pads on March 4.


In closing, just wanted to let you know, the Lady Tigers pulled it. They beat Georgia 68-61.




Matt Deville is the editor of Tiger Rag magazine. Reach him at

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