LSU Basketball: Tigers pad their NCAA Tournament resumé

Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports /

LSU basketball entered the weekend as a team on the NCAA Tournament bubble.

On Friday morning, ESPN’s bracketology expert Joe Lunardi had the Tigers IN the NCAA Tournament as a 10 seed.

Lunardi had LSU in a play-in game against Xavier in region two.

After this weekend, however, that projection may have changed.

LSU basketball’s case for an NCAA Tournament bid strengthens

The Tigers strengthened their case for an NCAA Tournament bid this weekend thanks to an upset win over the No. 16 ranked Tennessee Volunteers.

LSU took down the Vols 78-65 in Baton Rouge on Saturday evening, giving the Tigers their 13th win of the season.

It was also LSU’s first win over a ranked team this season. The Tigers were previously 0-3 against ranked teams (two losses to Alabama and a loss to Texas Tech, a game against No. 22 Florida was postponed).

LSU has four regular-season games left this season (five if the Florida game is made up). Plus there’s the SEC Tournament which is scheduled to begin on March 10 in Nashville.

That means at worst the Tigers will finish the season 13-12 (that probably means they wouldn’t get in the tournament).

Realistically, LSU could sweep the final four games of the season (or go 4-1 if the Florida game is made up) to finish the regular season either 17-6 or 17-7. If that happens, the Tigers are likely in the tournament as somewhere around a No. 6 or No. 7 seed.

The Auburn game is the only game remaining on the schedule (again, depending on the status of the Florida game) that I think LSU might lose. The Tigers should easily take care of Georgia and they’ve already beat Arkansas this year. I also don’t see a 6-10 Vanderbilt team being much of an issue.

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At this point, I think it’s safe to feel pretty confident that LSU will be dancing in March.