Sam Spiegelman/SEC Country
LSU basketball coach Will Wade leads the Tigers versus Utah on Monday.

Yes, LSU basketball has real chance to beat Utah in NIT on Monday

Nick Suss

LSU football is in the news every day, and the Bayou Bengal Briefing is here to keep you updated with the latest headlines five mornings a week. Join us every Monday through Friday for the biggest news on Tigers football, recruiting, baseball and more. Enjoy!

Don’t sleep on LSU basketball

Based on where the expectations were coming into the season, one postseason win for the LSU basketball team is plenty. Virtually no one saw this coming. But it’s not time to rest on a surprising season. LSU has a chance to keep winning.

The Tigers match up against Utah Monday night on ESPNU, beginning at 8 p.m. CT. (You can stream it through WatchESPN if you, like me, don’t have ESPNU.) Utah has had a pretty strong season and is the higher seed for a reason, but this might actually be a pretty good matchup for the Tigers.

As coach Will Wade pointed out on Friday, the LSU basketball team hasn’t played a team all too stylistically similar to Utah this season. But a basic, raw comparison might be Missouri. Check out the similarities:

Team PPG DPPG FG% 3P% AdjT AdjO
Utah 73.4 68.4 45.6 36.2 65.6 111.4
Missouri 72.7 68.1 45.0 38.3 65.6 112.0

They score approximately the same amount of points. They allow about the same amount of points. They shoot similarly from the field and from 3-point range. They’re both slow- paced teams, ranking identically in possessions per 40 minutes, and they rank within 10 teams of each other nationally in adjusted offense, which is points scored per 100 possessions.

And, of course, LSU beat Missouri 64-63 just over a month ago.

LSU won’t have the advantage of playing at home this time. But if the Tigers can beat Utah on the glass (it’s possible; the Utes rank 208th nationally in rebounding) and force some turnovers (that’ll be harder; Utah is the 46th stingiest team in the nation compared to Missouri’s 306th), LSU has a chance.

That said, Missouri and Utah did play each other this season and Utah won by 18. So maybe they aren’t the closest of close teams. But there are enough similarities that this could be the basis for a blueprint. Here’s hoping the Tigers can make things competitive.

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ICYMI

In case you missed anything, here’s a recap of the biggest and best LSU football news from the weekend:

He got (video) game

If you’re a fan of video games or use the internet at all, chances are you’ve heard of a popular online game called “Fortnite.” Effectively, 100 players are dropped onto a map and the last one alive wins. It’s like Battle Royale or The Hunger Games.

The reason I bring it up is because former LSU running back Derrius Guice is really good at it.

I spent about an hour Sunday night watching Guice stream on Twitch, over which time he won two games. Winning isn’t easy. Professionals rarely win. But Guice was on a hot streak.

So if you want to watch Guice win more at video games, follow him on Twitch. His account is linked above. He also plays Madden from time to time, which he’s also good at. Makes you wonder if he even needs to play football.

In LSU baseball news

The LSU baseball team won its first SEC weekend series of 2018, beating Missouri twice in three tries over the weekend to improve to 14-7 on the year. The victories included strong performances from pitchers Zack Hess and Ma’Khail Hilliard, as well as a dominant three-day showing from outfielder Zach Watson, who hit .571.

For more analysis on LSU’s performance, be sure to read my weekly LSU baseball column “Out of The Box,” published Mondays at 10:30 a.m. ET on SEC Country.

Your weekly non-revenue LSU sports recap

Sports happen every day. Here’s a recap of how a few of them went last weekend:

Monday in made-up holidays

According to the folks at NationalDayCalendar.com, March 19 is “National Let’s Laugh Day.” And I see no reason why we shouldn’t celebrate. So here’s a video that will hopefully make you laugh. It’s part 1 of a trilogy of videos, actually. And you should watch all of them. Because let’s laugh.

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