Sidelines with John Clay

College basketball on television: LSU and South Carolina meet in SEC showdown

South Carolina coach Frank Martin leads his Gamecocks against LSU on Wednesday night in Columbia.
South Carolina coach Frank Martin leads his Gamecocks against LSU on Wednesday night in Columbia. The Associated Press

ESPN2 is the place Wednesday night for an important SEC matchup as conference leader LSU (8-2) travels to South Carolina to take on the Gamecocks (7-3) at 7 p.m.

It’s a big week for both South Carolina and LSU, in addition to Wednesday’s game in Columbia. The Gamecocks then play host to Kentucky on Saturday. Meanwhile, LSU returns to Baton Rouge to play Texas A&M.

South Carolina shook off a 13-point loss at Georgia to hand Texas A&M its first road loss of the season, beating the Aggies 81-78 on Saturday. Frank Martin’s club made 12 of 21 three-pointers in the win and shot 52.6 percent from the floor. Sindarius Thornwell, who scored 25 points Saturday, has scored 72 points in his last four game

South Carolina is 12-0 at home. Its three conference losses were all on the road - at Alabama; at Tennessee and at Georgia. LSU has won four of its last five, with one loss being a two-point heartbreaker to then No. 1 Oklahoma at Baton Rouge.

Antonio Blakeney scored 31 points in team’s 88-77 win over Mississippi State on Saturday. Blakeney became just the sixth freshman in Tiger history to score 30-or-more points in a game. Fellow guard Keith Hornsby added 25.

Ben Simmons averaging 19.4 points, 12.3 rebounds and five assists per game. Simmons is shooting 56.7 percent from the floor. Interesting stat: Simmons has taken just three three-pointers all season. He’s made one.

LSU is 76th in the RPI. South Carolina is 28th.

Wednesday, Feb. 10

▪ 6:15 - Tulane at East Carolina (ESPN News)

▪ 6:30 - Butler at Seton Hall (Fox Sports 1)

▪ 7:00 - LSU at South Carolina (ESPN2)

▪ 7:00 - Texas A&M at Alabama (SEC)

▪ 7:00 - Memphis at Houston (ESPNU)

▪ 7:00 - Wake Forest at Georgia Tech (Fox Sports South)

▪ 7:00 - Nebraska at Wisconsin (Big 10)

▪ 7:00 - Providence at Marquette (CBS Sports)

▪ 8:15 - Baylor at Kansas State (ESPN News)

▪ 9:00 - Missouri at Vanderbilt (SEC)

▪ 9:00 - Iowa State at Texas Tech (ESPNU)

▪ 9:00 - Tulsa at SMU (CBS Sports)

▪ 9:00 - Michigan at Minnesota (Big 10)

▪ 9:00 - Washington at Utah (ESPN2)

▪ 11:00 - San Diego State at Fresno State (CBS Sports)

How Top 25 fared Tuesday

No. 1 Villanova beat DePaul 86-59

No. 2 Maryland beat Bowie State 93-62

No. 5 Xavier lost to Creighton 70-56

No. 6 Kansas beat West Virginia 75-65

No. 7 Virginia beat Virginia Tech 67-49

No. 8 Michigan State lost to No. 18 Purdue 82-81 (overtime)

No. 9 North Carolina beat Boston College 68-65

No. 12 Miami beat Pittsburgh 65-63

No. 19 Dayton beat Duquense 76-74

No. 22 Kentucky beat Georgia 82-48

No. 25 Wichita State beat Drake 74-48