LSU can officially set it sights on postseason basketball and leave the 2020-21 regular season in the rearview mirror. With its 86-80 win over Missouri on Saturday, the Tigers have locked up the No. 3 seed in next week's SEC tournament, ensuring that the program won't have to play a game for the first two days of the tournament.
The SEC tournament hasn't been kind to the Tigers over the years as far too often the program finds itself winning just a single game or one and done. Of the two times LSU has played in the tournament in the Wade era, the Tigers have gone 0-2 so it's a point of pride for Wade and this team to flip the script.
"I'm very aware of how poor we've been in the SEC Tournament. These last three or four years, we've been able to push away a lot of things that've really been a problem for us," Wade said. "This has been one of the issues we just haven't been able to push away. We haven't been able to win in this tournament and we take this thing seriously. We're going to be ready to go in Nashville. We're excited about going to the tournament. It's a point of pride for us."
The Tigers are getting some great play out of their best players as postseason basketball begins. Cam Thomas scored 29 points against Missouri in extremely efficient fashion while Trendon Watford's second half performance was the catalyst to LSU pulling out a tight road win.
Like most teams that go deep in the NCAA tournament, LSU will need to find a way to play it's best basketball over the next four weeks.
LSU (16-8, 11-6) hasn't won the SEC tournament since 1980, which was the only time the program has won it. What LSU has accomplished under Wade the last three years is not something to take lightly.
In that time span, the Tigers have won 39 conference games, the most of any other program over the last three seasons. Now that the Tigers are giving themselves consistent cracks at postseason success by setting themselves up as a top four seed, it's finally time to start proving it when it matters most, in March.
"We hadn't played in the championship in forever so just winning a game here is a big deal for us. Something that we're going to prepare for. When we get ready to go at 8, 8:30 on Friday night, we'll be one of five teams left in this thing. We're going to give it our all and do what we can to try to reverse some of the bad history in this deal."