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Anchor Drop, March 19, 2018: A Sweep in Starkville

Vanderbilt opens SEC play 3-0, and the men’s golf team wins in Statesboro.

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NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-Second Round-Auburn vs Clemson Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning. The Vanderbilt baseball team completed a three-game sweep of Mississippi State in the opening series of SEC play with a 4-3 win on Sunday, running their record to 15-5 on the season. Mason Hickman allowed three runs over five innings but picked up the win after the Commodores pushed across four runs in the fifth inning.

The men’s golf team won the Schenkel Invitational by eight strokes over host Georgia Southern, after posting a 282 score in the final round on Sunday. Senior Theo Humphrey took home individual honors for the first time in his Vanderbilt career.

Men’s tennis lost to Florida by a 4-3 score on Sunday, their first conference defeat of the season, dropping their record to 14-2 and 4-1 in the SEC.

The women’s lacrosse team also lost to Florida, 11-10, on Sunday, in the Big East opener for both teams. (Confused? The SEC doesn’t sponsor women’s lacrosse, so Florida and Vanderbilt both compete in the Big East.)

Off the West End

The NCAA Tournament apparently won’t be back in Nashville for a while. Also last night, 2-seed Cincinnati and 1-seed Xavier both blew big leads and lost at Bridgestone Arena.

Otherwise, the insanity of March continued, with defending champ UNC getting run out of the gym by Texas A&M — which makes sense if you watched Texas A&M in November and didn’t watch them again ever. 11-seed Syracuse topped 3-seed Michigan State. And Auburn completely no-showed an 84-53 loss to Clemson; Auburn trailed by 41 points (!) at one point in the second half.

By the way, that last one means that former Commodore Shelton Mitchell is going to the Sweet 16, something that eluded the rest of Vanderbilt’s 2014 recruiting class.

Rory McIlroy won the Arnold Palmer Invitational, his first PGA Tour win since 2016.

Vanderbilt alum Luke List got the final spot in this week’s Dell Match Play Invitational after Adam Scott withdrew.

South Dakota State’s Mike Daum is not transferring, ending some baseless speculation that had popped up mostly because seemingly every mid-major star who can take advantage of the NCAA’s graduate transfer rule does exactly that.

Speaking of grad transfers, though, Evansville’s Ryan Taylor and his 21.2 ppg scoring average is on the grad transfer market and Vanderbilt is kicking the tires here. Taylor is a 6’5” guard and shot 42.1 percent from three this season, so needless to say we could get some use out of him. Also Taylor’s a native of Gary, Indiana, so he’s probably familiar with Bryce Drew already.

Storms are coming to Middle Tennessee today, so stay safe, those of you in Nashville.