With March Madness approaching, some fans wonder if the LSU men’s basketball team has a shot at making the NCAA tournament. Unfortunately, the answer isn’t favorable.
It might take an act of the basketball Gods for the LSU men’s team to be a part of March Madness. The Tigers are last in the SEC with a 12-15 record that includes 1-13 in conference play. But, with only four regular-season games remaining, here’s how the Bayou Bengals can get into the tournament.
Finish the regular season 16-14
An LSU ticket to men’s March Madness requires winning out the remainder of the regular season schedule. A 4-0 finish with some ‘new coach and new roster’ excuses creates the benefit of the doubt the Tigers need. Moreover, some teams do get hot to close a season and manage to sneak into the tournament. Of course, it helps that LSU is a major program, and Matt McMahon has a March Madness pedigree.
The LSU men’s team plays Vanderbilt, Mississippi, Missouri, and Florida to close their regular season schedule. Unfortunately, the Tigers have already lost a close game to Kentucky, followed by double-digit losses to Vanderbilt and Missouri. LSU has yet to play Mississippi this season.
Win the SEC Tournament
LSU’s path to March Madness is paved by a series of unlikely upsets in the SEC men’s tournament. Winning the conference tournament adds five more wins to the Tigers’ record. In that scenario, LSU finishes the season 21-15 with an SEC tournament title. One would assume such is enough for the tournament selection committee to insert LSU into March Madness.
LSU will be one of four SEC teams in the conference tournament’s first round. A win moves the Tigers to a matchup with the contest’s fifth or sixth seed. From that point, LSU must win a cluster of games in which they are assuredly massive underdogs.
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It is improbable the LSU men’s basketball team will finish as SEC tournament champions. However, fans must consider that anything is possible. The cliched line, ‘they don’t call it March Madness for nothing,’ feels appropriate.
At some point, the LSU men’s team will click with McMahon at the helm. He’s too good of a coach and has won practically everywhere he’s coached. So the Tigers can start figuring out their identity and playing formidable basketball before the season’s end.
LSU isn’t a compete team, but they have enough talent to play better than the losers of 14-straight.