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Anchor Drop, May 22, 2019: SEC Tournament Opener

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Top seed Vanderbilt takes on Auburn in its first game of the SEC Tournament.

NCAA BASEBALL: Mississippi State at Vanderbilt George Walker IV-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning.

Vanderbilt opens the SEC Tournament today against 8-seed Auburn, which beat Tennessee by a 5-3 score on Tuesday to advance. Today’s game will be televised on the SEC Network, allegedly at 4:30 PM CT, but since this is the SEC Tournament you can probably just go ahead and assume it will start around 4:45 or 5 PM. The good news is that the forecast in Hoover doesn’t call for rain today.

Fernanda Contreras advanced to the Sweet 16 of the women’s singles championship, beating Texas’s Petra Granic in straight sets on Tuesday.

Vanderbilt officially announced Whitehaven’s Faragi Phillips as the third assistant coach on Tuesday.

Anonymous SEC coaches think Derek Mason says things to motivate other teams, which is a nice way of saying anonymous SEC coaches are douchebags who still use bulletin boards.

Off the West End

From our sister blogs: Roll Bama Roll writes about the Free State of Winston, a single county in Alabama that responded to Alabama’s secession from the Union by seceding from Alabama ... Arkansas Fight talks about Arkansas’s place in a world where the rich are getting richer ... Tom Crean and Kirby Smart took Nelson Muntz up on his suggestion, eschewing the SunSphere for Macon, Georgia ... Mississippi State signed head coach Joe Moorhead to a four-year extension, which seems like a logical thing to do for a coach who just finished his first year ... Good Bull Hunting complains about preseason strength-of-schedule rankings.

The Orioles’ pitching staff sucks.

Andy Staples talks about why Florida State wasn’t an overnight fix.

Dennis Dodd writes about why Power 5 teams are beefing up their nonconference schedules, which seems like it has an obvious answer: because these days, even Tennessee and its ilk have to worry about selling tickets. Gone are the days when fans would dutifully fill the stadium to watch you stomp a mudhole in New Mexico State. (Also, the College Football Playoff, but that wouldn’t explain why Tennessee does it.)

This Washington Post article about San Francisco feels like it was written by VandyImport.

Today in Bill C.’s preview series: Pitt.

Scoreboard

SEC Tournament: Texas A&M walked it off against Florida ... Ole Miss beat a Big 12 school that was playing in the SEC Tournament for reasons that were not immediately clear ... Auburn beat Tennessee 5-3 ... LSU probably ended South Carolina’s season with an 8-6 win.

NBA Playoffs: The Raptors evened the Eastern Conference Finals at 2 with a 120-102 win over the Bucks.

Stanley Cup Playoffs: The St. Louis Blues are in the Stanley Cup finals for the first time since 1970.

MLB: The A’s beat the Indians 5-3 ... the Cubs beat the Phillies 3-2 ... the RockiesGerman Marquez shut out the Pirates for eight innings ... Clint Frazier homered twice in the Yankees11-4 win over the Orioles, who are bad ... Rowdy Tellez also had two homers for the Blue Jays, who beat the Red Sox 10-3 ... the Dodgers beat the Rays 7-3 ... the Marlins beat the Tigers in extra innings ... the Mets beat the Nationals, 6-5 ... Sonny Gray got his first win of the season as the Reds beat the Brewers, 3-0 ... the Rangers evened their record at .500 with a 5-3 win over the Mariners ... Justin Verlander took a no-hitter into the seventh in the Astros5-1 win over the White Sox ... Eric Hosmer hit a two-run homer and the Padres beat the Diamondbacks, 3-2 ... the Giants walked it off against the Braves ... the Twins beat the Angels, 8-3 ... the Cardinals and Royals got rained out.

Today: More SEC Tournament action, featuring Vanderbilt! Aside from the Commodores, today’s action opens with Texas A&M-Georgia at 9:30 AM, followed by Ole Miss-Arkansas, and the nightcap between Mississippi State and LSU.

Aside from that, the NBA and NHL are off today, so you’re left with the usual MLB action (which, as it’s a Wednesday, includes a bunch of day games.)

We’ll have a game thread up for today’s game, but you can use this as your open thread for the other SEC Tournament games.