I think it's pretty clear that Vanderbilt has payback on its mind. That's right. 1987. NIT. Southern Mississippi came to town and walked away from Memorial Gym with a W.
Today, the gym shall have the meal that escaped its clutches so long ago.
Sagarin predicts Vandy to have an 83% chance of victory (73-64 VU with a tempo of 69).
To their credit, the Golden Eagles of Southern Mississippi are 3-1 on the road this season with the lone loss coming to Mississippi 79-81. Since then, the Golden Eagles have dropped two games to some subpar teams in Canisius and North Florida (200 level Pomeroy teams). Still, they've shown at Mississippi an ability to "get up" for an elite-level opponent.
While I don't exactly expect a walk-in-the-park victory, I want to see Vandy continue to build upon what they've done the last few games.
From the TSN Preview:
The Eagles shot a sizzling 57.6 percent from the floor, including 6-of-14 from three-point distance, as they breezed past Dillard on Wednesday. USM also went 13-of-14 at the foul line, in addition to dominating the boards, 49-27. Maurice Bolden led the charge with 18 points and six rebounds, while Josimar Ayarza had 17 points and eight boards. Gary Flowers turned in nine points and five rebounds and he continues to pace the squad in scoring (14.6 ppg) as well as rebounding (8.9 rpg) for the season. Bolden has provided a nice complement to him and he checks in with 13.0 ppg and 7.2 rpg.
Vanderbilt controlled the boards, 57-41, and outscored Manhattan in the paint, 47-24, in an 86-48 rout on Wednesday. The Commodores also clamped down on defense, forcing 16 turnovers and holding Manhattan to a paltry 25.8 percent shooting performance from the floor. John Jenkins came off the bench to lead the assault with 15 points, and A.J. Ogilvy added 12 points and eight boards. Jeffery Taylor had just six points in limited minutes, but he still remains the team's top scorer (15.0 ppg) and rebounder (6.1 rpg) for the season. Jermaine Beal ranks second with 12.7 ppg and 3.1 apg, while Ogilvy contributes 12.3 ppg and 5.8 rpg.
The Commodores are the more talented team here and their frontcourt should make the difference in a victory today.
Traditional Stats - Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles
As always, the open game thread will go live about an hour before tipoff. Don't forget to stop by Stat-King to make your selection for the game.
Margin of Victory - Vanderbilt vs. Southern Mississippi
Vanderbilt by >20 (2 votes)
Vanderbilt by 10-20 (0 votes)
Vanderbilt by <10 (0 votes)
Southern Mississippi (1 vote)
3 total votes