So if you haven't the news just yet, let me be the first one to break it to you! Mississippi State Bulldogs vs. the Tennessee Volunteers tomorrow for the SEC crown! Now if you were one of those who haven't heard the news, then I invite you to please crawl out from under your rock and celebrate with me, as I toast my home state Bulldogs!
Its been an improbable run for the bulldogs as they came into the tournament with little fan fare, but after impressive victories over Georgia, South Carolina, and LSU, anyone who is not talking about the Dawgs needs to try and work them into the conversation! Check out my previous post to see the highlights of the Georgia game. I was at the South Carolina as well as LSU games and both were equally good games.
I had great seats at the St. Pete Times Forum as we were right behind the basket a few rows up. I was joined by my lovely companion Melissa as we awaited tip-off. Nothing quite like watching college basketball in March, but I can assure you that if you have a beautiful girl with a great smile sitting next to you, its just that much better!
The fans were out in full force as attendance was somewhere around 13,000 or so with fans from all over the SEC. It amazed me, but teams who had lost earlier in the tournament had their fans stick around and watch all the games. I tell you there is nothing quite like college sports and the atmosphere it brings, and it was all here in Tampa Bay!
As for the two games, the South Carolina game was the most nerve racking as they played us extremely tough in the first half and had a sizable lead at halftime. At the start of the 2nd half I was freaking out and making plans to leave the arena already. Luckily for us, the guys on the court and the coaches had other ideas. They fought hard and slowly chipped away at the Gamecock lead and ended up taking an 82-68 victory, with guard Barry Stewart as the leading scorer as he terrorized the Gamecocks with his precision shooting!
With LSU having beaten Kentucky earlier that day, the stage was all set for a Tiger vs. Bulldog showdown. With the Tigers being ranked 20th in the nation coming into the game, many expected them to roll right over our dawgs, but I don't think anyone told Jarvis Varnado that.
Let me be the first to say that this kid isn't human as he pounded the boards, blocked shots and sent LSU home as he ended up with 21 points, 7 rebounds, and 7 blocked shots. LSU couldn't do anything with this guy, and the team defended well all game long to keep the tigers in check!
All in all it was a good day as the MSU victory made Melissa smile, thus lighting the entire forum up with her pearly whites...and all this time I thought TECO was lighting the arena! But let me get back to the subject at hand...lol
So there you have it folks, as the stage is set for tomorrow at 1pm where we find out who the SEC Champion is. I had better see you guys out there at Fan Fare early in the day enjoying this great Tampa Bay weather and getting ready to cheer your team to victory. As always, Jerm will be there posting Twitter updates live and in living color, so stay tuned!
As always see ya next time and stay tuned for more things to do in Tampa Bay. Before the game, be sure to get out and enjoy the Tampa Bay dining scene at all the great Channelside restaurants, and afterwards hit the streets for the hot Tampa Bay nightlife!