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LSU, Texas A&M have important games this weekend; Moody has hot hand for Rebels

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A few things to watch in Southeastern Conference basketball this week:

GAME OF THE WEEK: LSU at No. 18 Arkansas: The Tigers looked like they were finally finding some consistency this season before a stunning 15-point home loss to Tennessee on Wednesday. Now LSU (21-9, 10-7 SEC) — which is still not a sure bet for an NCAA Tournament at-large berth — must go on the road and try to beat the Razorbacks (24-6, 13-4) in Bud Walton Arena.

LOOKING AHEAD: Of all the SEC teams that potentially could earn an NCAA Tournament at-large bid, Texas A&M has perhaps the most interesting case, with the type of profile that could give the selection committee headaches. The Aggies (20-9, 11-6) have a good record that seems to warrant an NCAA bid, but they don't have any signature wins. Their best argument is perhaps their two wins over LSU, but the Tigers aren't an NCAA Tournament lock either. The Aggies probably need to beat Alabama (17-13, 7-10) on Saturday and then do some damage in the SEC tournament to feel good about their chances.

PLAYER TO WATCH: Ole Miss guard Stefan Moody continues to have the hot hand for the Rebels. Moody scored 25 points, including 22 in the second half, in an 82-74 victory over Alabama on Tuesday. Moody has scored at least 15 points in 10 straight games and is averaging 20.1 points over that stretch.

NUMBERS GAME: Top-ranked Kentucky (30-0, 17-0) has the longest season-opening win streak of any SEC team ever. The 30 straight victories also represents the longest single-season win streak in Kentucky history and the Wildcats' second-longest win streak overall. ... Tennessee's 78-63 upset of LSU on Wednesday marked the 10th straight year that the Volunteers (15-14, 7-10) had spoiled an SEC opponent's home finale. Tennessee has beaten LSU in Baton Rouge five straight times. ... Over its last four games, Vanderbilt has shot 49.4 percent (42 of 85) from 3-point range. The Commodores (18-12, 8-9) have won all four games. ... Florida's 66-49 triumph over Tennessee on Saturday allowed Billy Donovan to join Bob Knight as the only Division I coaches to earn their 500th career victories before their 50th birthdays.

ON THE WOMEN'S SIDE: No. 3 South Carolina and No. 5 Tennessee shared the SEC regular-season title. That represents the second consecutive championship for South Carolina and the 18th overall regular-season title for the Lady Vols. South Carolina earned the No. 1 seed in the conference tournament because it won its only regular-season meeting with Tennessee. ... SEC coaches selected South Carolina's Tiffany Mitchell as player of the year and named Mississippi State's Vic Schaefer and South Carolina's Dawn Staley as co-coaches of the year. Coaches voted South Carolina's A'ja Wilson as freshman of the year and Texas A&M's Jordan Jones as defensive player of the year.


Compiled by Steve Megargee in Knoxville, Tennessee, and David Brandt in Oxford, Mississippi.

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