Why FSU Basketball deserves top three seed in NCAA Tournament

Why FSU Basketball deserves top three seed in NCAA Tournament

The Tigers did have freshman Javonte Smart back after LSU announced a couple hours before tipoff Friday that the guard has fully cooperated in a "joint inquiry" with the school and the NCAA.

Bryce Brown scored all 11 of his points in the first half before Jared Harper picked up the scoring slack in the final 20 minutes when he netted 17 of his 20.

"We're playing our best basketball in March", Harper said.

Auburn: SEC championship on Sunday.

"Now, are we an NCAA Tournament team today? But I think that physically we'll be fine", he said on Saturday.

Smart, averaging 11.5 points and 3.3 rebounds for the Tigers, was held out of LSU's regular-season finale against Vanderbilt after his recruitment reportedly was linked to Federal Bureau of Investigation wiretaps that included LSU coach Will Wade. The senior forward was almost as good in the rematch and helped SC lead for much of the first half before Auburn rallied to forge a 36-all tie at the intermission.

The Tigers led by as many as 13 early in the second half but failed to hold on. Pearl's team has shown a good shooting eye in Nashville, connecting on 38 of 97 (39.2 percent) of its long-range shots in three SEC tournament victories.

Harper was 12 of 14 from the line in the second half. "It should be fun and exciting to go back home, and to be coaching an NCAA Tournament just doesn't seem real. He makes it look easy". Head coach Mike White is the first in program history to earn tournament berths in three of his first four seasons.

The Gators advance on to the SEC Tournament semi-finals awaiting the victor of the Auburn and SC who tip off Friday afternoon.

The two teams met only once in the regular season, with Auburn defending its home floor to the tune of a 76-62 win back on February 5. It was a six point swing in the game that has Tiger fans furious over the results.

SC outscored Auburn by seven points when Silva was on the floor.

Auburn's Austin Wiley made a brief return to action Friday after missing five games with a lower right leg injury.

The Tigers have not won an SEC tournament since 1985 when Chuck Person - fired as an assistant in the offseason as part of the Federal Bureau of Investigation wiretaps scandal probing bribes in college basketball - played for Auburn. The Tigers can consistently score and also have the capability to lock in on defense.

SC waits to learn whether it gets an NIT invitation.

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