NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Jordan McRae scored 17 points Thursday as fifth-seeded Tennessee defeated No. 13 seed Mississippi State 69-53 in the second round of the Southeastern Conference Tournament.
Tennessee (20-11) won for the ninth time in its ;past 10 games to advance to a quarterfinal today against No. 4 seed Alabama (20-11) in a matchup of NCAA Tournament bubble teams. Tennessee and Alabama split their regular-season matchups, with the home team winning each time.
Trae Golden had 15 points and Jarnell Stokes and Quinton Chievous added 10 points apiece for Tennessee. Chievous’ 10 points represented a career high for the redshirt freshman.
Craig Sword scored 19 points, Colin Borchert had 12 and Trivante Bloodman added 10 for Mississippi State (10-22).
VANDERBILT 75, ARKANSAS 72
Kedren Johnson hit all four of his free throws in the final 19.8 seconds, and the 10th-seeded Commodores (15-16) upset No. 7 seed Arkansas (19-13) in their first chance at defending their tournament championship.
The Commodores lost the top six players off that title team with three now playing in the NBA. They will play No. 2 seed Kentucky in the quarterfinals tonight in a rematch of last year’s championship game.
Arkansas lost for the 12th time in 13 games away from Fayetteville including three times on neutral courts.
Rod Odom led Vanderbilt with 20 points, Kyle Fuller had 19, Johnson finished with 13 and Dai-Jon Parker 11.
BJ Young led Arkansas with 16 points. Marshawn Powell had 13 before fouling out late and Michael Qualls added 10.
MISSOURI 62, TEXAS A&M 50
Alex Oriakhi scored 13 points and pulled down 10 rebounds as No. 6 seed Missouri (23-9) defeated cold-shooting No. 11 seed Texas A&M (18-15) in the second round.
Texas A&M shot a season-low 24.1 percent (14 of 58) in the first SEC Tournament confrontation between these two former Big 12 rivals.
Laurence Bowers, Jabari Brown and Tony Criswell had 10 points each for Missouri.
Fabyon Harris led Texas A&M with 15 points. Texas A&M star Elston Turner played with a broken left pinkie finger and scored seven. points while shooting 3 of 17.