Looking at the Ex-Pats poll on how the Hogs will finish the hoops campaign, it is apparent that a majority of voters think the Hogs will win at least two of the remaining four games. I expect that means most voters think the Hogs will roll right over Wednesday night's opponents, the hapless LSU Tigers, who are winless in SEC play, and who were beaten like baby seals at Walton in a 35-point romp by the Hogs. Yep, this looks like a sure-fire, write-it-down, don't even need to play it, W for the Pigs. Right? Let's move on to Vandy.
Not so fast, faithful. This game has me worried; really worried. And here are a few reasons why, if the Hogs don't stay laser focused, they could be in a for a rude, and season altering, surprise:-- It is extremely hard to go winless in the SEC. In fact, it hasn't been done since before most of us were born. It was the 1953-54 season, and the team that went winless, Georgia Tech, is no longer in the conference. The odds are strongly in favor of LSU knocking off at least one, if not two, of its remaining opponents. LSU gets Arkansas at home, then goes on the road to play Auburn and Ole Miss, then gets Georgia at home. Arkansas seems like ripe fruit.
-- LSU is showing signs of life. The Tigers almost, maybe should have, knocked off Mississippi State on Saturday. In fact, Missi State hit a trey with seven second left to take a two point lead, and then LSU launched one from mid-court with like five seconds still on the clock (a "wtf" moment for Trent Johnson, surely). That is not indicative of a team rolling over and playing dead, and if they can play Mississippi State that tight, they can do the same to Arkansas. Especially an Arkansas team that at times simply cannot play perimeter defense.
-- No one wants to be the first. The first team to lose to LSU in conference play, that is. And if things start looking tight down the stretch, the Hogs are extremely capable of feeling like their collars are an inch too small. Generally when that happens, Courtney Fortson flings himself into the lane, tosses up a wild shot, and looks bewildered when no foul is called. And trust me, on the road, down the stretch, that foul won't be called.
-- Did I say Greece? I meant Kazahkistan. I implied in an earlier post that Michael Washington was looking ahead to a pro career in Greece. I apologize. The pro league in Greece is much better than that.
So, I say we have reason to be concerned. A loss here would surely eliminate the Hogs from any NCAA consideration. This game is no gimme.