Home Top Stories LSU’s Cardiac Kids are a legit NCAA Tournament dark horse

LSU’s Cardiac Kids are a legit NCAA Tournament dark horse

The LSU basketball team hasn’t won an SEC title since 2009 but that drought has a puncher’s chance of ending this season.

No. 19 LSU visits No. 5 Kentucky on Feb. 12 in a game which will have a major impact on the SEC standings.

The Tigers are 19-4 overall and are tied with Kentucky for second place in the SEC with a 9-1 record. LSU has won 12 of its last 13 games, most recently defeating Auburn 83-78 on Feb. 9.

LSU only trails No. 1 Tennessee (22-1, 10-0) in the SEC standings.

LSU is looking to extend its winning streak vs. ranked opponents to three games. In its last two games against ranked opponents, LSU cruised past Furman and Ole Miss.

LSU rallied from down 10 for a 92-88 overtime victory at Mississippi State on Feb. 7 and overcame a 16-point deficit vs. Auburn on Saturday.

This is the kind of resiliency needed during March Madness.

LSU has a balanced offense with seven players averaging at least seven points, led by guard Tremont Waters (15.7). Other double figure scorers include forward Naz Reid (13.9), guard Skylar Mars (13.4) and guard Ja’vonte Smart (10.2).

Waters was selected as the SEC Player of the Week and Reid was chosen as the SEC Freshman of the Week for their strong play in wins vs. Mississippi State and Auburn.

Reid drained the game-winning 3-pointer in overtime vs. Mississippi State.

The disruptive defense has two players averaging at least two steals (Waters with 3.0 and Mars with 2.0), while forward Kavell Bigby-Williams tallies nearly two blocks per game (1.9).

LSU coach Will Wade believes his team is trending in the right direction.

“We’re getting better, we’re getting better … we’re improving,” Wade said to The Advocate. “That’s the name of the game at this point: It’s to keep stacking good steps, and we’ve done that.”

LSU returned just two players from last season’s roster. The Tigers have six new players in the rotation.

Prior to this hot streak, LSU entered having lost three of five. Now they’ve found their footing and are gearing up for a run at the conference crown.

“We’ve got a fun team to watch; the kids play hard, they lay it on the line,” Wade said to The Advocate. “We’re not always perfect, but we do play extremely hard and our guys take a lot of pride in playing for LSU, playing for Louisiana. It’s a big point of pride for our guys.”

The LSU community is definitely all in, as 12,004 filled the Pete Maravich Assembly Center for Saturday’s victory. For LSU’s 90-89 loss vs. Arkansas on Feb. 2, over 13,000 came out in support.

That type of home-court advantage could be a significant boost as LSU heads into the final frame of the regular season, including a Feb. 23 showdown vs. Tennessee.

“It’s good to see the crowds coming back,” Wade said to The Advocate. “That place was loud today. … It’s fun when the PMAC is rocking. Hopefully, we can keep it going. We’ve got to do our part to keep winning.”