The temporary daydream of an LSU basketball bid to the NCAA tournament was throttled back to reality Saturday afternoon as Georgia dusted the Tigers 93-82 at Stegeman Coliseum.
The Tigers hit the road with an opportunity to play their way into the tourney conversation by winning their final three regular-season games. Now it appears that LSU (16-12, 7-9 SEC) will likely need to win the SEC tournament and earn the league’s automatic bid to make that dream come true.
The strong probability of a trip to the NIT is still a major reward for a team that sputtered to a 10-21 record last season. Nevertheless, the extinguishing of LSU’s at-large hopes still stings.
3 Keys to Georgia’s win over LSU
Rebounding, rebounding, rebounding
This was the biggest difference between the two teams coming in, and it proved to be the biggest difference going out. The Bulldogs are the 21st-best offensive rebounding team in the country, while LSU entered 283rd in defensive rebounding efficiency.
Georgia dominated the boards by a 49-34 edge, including 16 offensive rebounds.
Dawgs shut down Duop
Duop Reath was LSU’s top scorer in SEC play with an average of 14 points per game against conference opponents. Georgia’s superior size and foul trouble made LSU’s only viable post presence a non-entity.
Reath was limited to 1 point on 0-for-3 shooting from the field in just 14 minutes on the floor thanks to four fouls.
Georgia’s surprisingly explosive offense
Georgia does not have a particularly exciting offense, but you never would have figured that out on Saturday afternoon. The Bulldogs shot 49 percent from the field on their way to a season-high 93 points, breaking 90 for the first time since last year’s SEC opener against Auburn.
The Bulldogs are one of the most plodding, deliberate teams in the nation. Georgia entered the game 337th out of 351 teams in the country in adjusted tempo, per KenPom.com.
LSU-Georgia box score
What’s next for LSU basketball?
The Tigers continue their brief SEC East road trip with a visit to South Carolina on Wednesday night. The game tips off at 5:30 p.m. CT on SEC Network.