SEC Basketball Review: LSU Tigers Meet Vanderbilt Commodores

Posted on February 3, 2022 - Last Updated on February 5, 2022

It’s a Saturday night SEC basketball showdown when LSU travels to the venerable Memorial Gym to take on Vanderbilt. Tip-off is set for 5 p.m. local time.

The LSU Tigers have been as high as No. 12 in the national polls but have struggled lately. They were 16-5 heading into Tuesday night’s game against Ole Miss. 

Vanderbilt was 11-9 before taking on SEC power house Kentucky on Wednesday.

The Tigers have built their record on the strength of a powerful defense. Coach Will Wade’s group ranks 11th in the nation allowing only 59.2 points a game.

Tigers forward Tari Eason leads the purple and gold with 15.9 points a game, while Darius Days adds 13.1.

Scottie Pippen Jr. leads the Commodores with 18.6 points a game and also leads the team in assists and steals.

While LSU is averaging 72.9 points a game this season, the Tigers have only gone over that mark once since Jan. 8.

Vanderbilt leads the all-time series 58-50, but LSU has won seven of the last 10 meetings. LSU hasn’t won in Memorial Gym since 2016.

What do the oddsmakers say?

The Tigers are listed as 3.5-point road favorites by Caesars and are four-point favorites at DraftKings. The over/under at Caesars is 132.5 and 133 at DraftKings.

Lucky for you LSU fans, online sports betting in Louisiana is now live. Here are the four major platforms offering promotions which you can use to bet on this game:

LSU line up

In their last 10 games before Tuesday’s Ole Miss encounter, the Tigers had been favored six times. When they are favored in those six games, LSU has covered three times but is on a run of not covering as the favorite in their last three. 

Overall, LSU was 14-7 against the spread

In their last 10 games, the under has hit eight times, a testament to the Tigers defense. The Tigers are 5-5 against the spread in those 10.

Vanderbilt line up

Before playing Kentucky, Vanderbilt had been pegged as the underdog in seven of its last 10 games. They have only covered the spread twice out of those seven.

Also, Vanderbilt games usually trend toward the low side. Seven of their last 10 games have gone under the target line. Vanderbilt is 8-11 against the spread.

Memorable LSU Vs. Vanderbilt moments

You play a team 108 times and there’s bound to be some memorable match-ups. Here are just a few of the greatest moments from the Vanderbilt-LSU series:

Action Jackson – 1990

LSU took down the Commodores 121-108 at Memorial Gym in 1990. Superstar guard Chris Jackson scored 46 points. Can you imagine any college basketball game these days with 229 combined points?

The no foul – 1991

Shaquille O’Neal was a dominant big man for LSU of course and in the NBA. He was called for a questionable foul blocking a shot in the lane.

Technical fouls were called as the Tigers protested. LSU Coach Dale Brown and Vanderbilt Coach Eddie Fogler had words walking off the floor. Scott Draud made four free throws for Vanderbilt to win it 63-59.

All for Don – 1988

After the sudden death of former star Don Redden from heart failure, LSU took down Vanderbilt 87-80 in the quarterfinals of the SEC Tournament in 1988.

Memorial madhouse – 1979

This one is listed as No. 28 in the all-time Memorial Gym moments. Playing in front of an estimated overflow crowd of 16,500, Vandy took down undefeated and No. 7 LSU 88-87 in 1979.

The Commodores overcame 30 points from LSU star DeWayne Seales.

Maravich goes for 61 – 1969-70

Pete Maravich didn’t beat Vanderbilt in his LSU career until he was a senior. In the team’s first meeting in the 1969-70 season, Maravich hung 61 points on the Commodores, making 26 field goals and nine free throws. Remember, no three-point shot back then.

LSU won 109-86 and the 61 points by Maravich are still the fourth most points ever scored by an LSU player.

The play (advise on how to bet)

I hate to say it, but LSU fans have seen this type of season play out before. The Tigers start hot, hit a mid-season swoon, then get it back together for a late-season push.

Now you have a place where LSU traditionally doesn’t play well. The Vandy crowd will be in it because LSU is still ranked.

Everything screams take the Commodores and the points at home. I lean toward the over.

Photo by Matthew Hinton /Associated Press
Darren Cooper Avatar
Written by
Darren Cooper

Darren Cooper was born and raised in Southern Louisiana, just a short pirogue ride away from New Orleans. He started his journalism career at the New Orleans Times-Picayune and has been a writer and columnist in New Jersey since 1998. He's won 14 statewide press awards and earned his first Associated Press Sports Editors Top 10 award in 2022.

View all posts by Darren Cooper