With a 6-11-1 record some 6 weeks ago, all of the experts predicted LSU would be at home for this coming weekend’s Super Regionals.

While the experts predicted the Tigers would be spectators, they will rather be participants, following an 11-4 win over Southern Miss, moving LSU into next weekend’s round of 16 play.

LSU will now take on UC-Irvine, who won the Lincoln Regional this weekend.

Over the course of a season and up and down a roster, LSU is a much more talented club than Irvine is, but in a three game set, the Anteaters are a tough out, because they have very solid and steady pitching.

Leading the way for LSU again was their one-two punch of Blake Dean and Matt Clark who each had big extra-base hits to spark LSU’s 11 run output. Michael Hollander added four hits for the Tigers and Leon Landry poked an opposite field home run for his fifth of the season.

The most impressive thing about Sunday’s win was that it (like the entire winning streak), came against superior competition. LSU raked many of its insurance runs off the Golden Eagles All-American closer Tyler Conn to put the game away.

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The Finals tip-off on Thursday and it is now time for part II of my Finals preview. Let’s take a look at the shooting guards in the series.

Lakers: Kobe Bryant

28.3 pts, 6.3 rebs and 5.4 assists per game

Celtics: Ray Allen

17.4 pts, 3.7 rebs, and 3.1 assists per game

On paper, this looks a lot closer than it actually is. I know people in Louisiana are maybe a little Anti-Kobe, because of his battle with Chris Paul for MVP, but please… Stop It. Kobe is not one the current Most Valuable Player, he is one of the Most Valuable Players of all-time. In the Lakers recent series with the Spurs, Kobe was the team’s anchor on offense, picking and choosing his way to five stellar games against possibly the league’s best defender in Bruce Bowen. The Lakers are the only team in the playoffs to be undefeated at home and are also the only team to win a road game in each of its three series’ and that is directly due to Bryant.

Allen, on the other hand, has been on-and-off throughout the playoffs. The UConn standout has just three 20 point playoff games, but has a whopping five games in which he was held in single digits.

Bryant also trumps Allen on the defensive side of the floor where he is an All-NBA First Team Defender.

Kobe is the game’s best player; Allen is just an average shooting guard who has worn down as the season has gone on because of his old-age

Big Advantage: Lakers

What to watch tomm: Keep an eye on baseball Regionals as they will all be wrapping up tomorrow. At writing time, Tulane is trailing Florida State in Seminole land, so if that score holds up, the Wave will be fighting for their season tomorrow afternoon. SEC regular season champion Georgia will also play a winner-take-all game against Georgia Tech.

In other news, 21-year-old Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt broke the world record for the 100 m dash this weekend, sprinting the race in 9.72, breaking the previous record of 9.74 by fellow Jamaican Asafa Powell. I think Bolt’s feat comes at a great time for the sport and can hopefully bring people’s eyes away from the recent Marion Jones and Tim Montgomery scandals with the Olympics on the horizon.

Hope you all have a great Monday. I will be breaking down UC-Irvine pitching tomm, as well as Part III of the Finals preview.

-Casey

P.S. Get well soon, Skip.

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