March 5, 2008

Seniors say goodbye to Memorial Magic tonight

One thing is now certain about tonight's game with Mississippi State: This will be the last time Shan Foster, Alex Gordon, Alan Metcalfe and Ross Neltner play at Memorial Gym. The four are already the winningest senior class in Vanderbilt basketball history, and VU's 24-5 record virtually guarantees they will finish their college careers playing in the NCAA Tournament, away from Ingram Court.

The season has been one of surprisingly few low points for VU. After steaming to a 16-0 record, and then experiencing the inevitable lull, the Commodores have played consistent, if not at times lethal, basketball during the conference season. Though they cannot catch Tennessee for the SEC East crown, VU can still overtake Kentucky to finish second in the division, assuring a first round bye in the SEC Tournament next weekend. Vandy finishes their regular season on Saturday against 4-10 Alabama.

MSU has already locked up the SEC West crown, their fourth in the last six seasons. Unlike Vandy, nothing MSU does in their final two games will impact their seeding in Atlanta, but a win over Vanderbilt would likely assure them of an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament - something that may not yet be assured given the weak competition in their division. MSU finishes their regular season on Saturday against last place LSU.

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