VANDERBILT LOOKS INTO A MIRROR AGAINST OLE MISS

The Vanderbilt Commodores are picking up momentum on the high seas of college basketball. In a not-very-deep SEC, a hot team that can remain hot into March has a very realistic chance of going to the SEC Tournament and swiping an automatic bid. If one was to look at a candidate to give the SEC an autobid in addition to at-large certainties Kentucky, Florida and South Carolina, Vanderbilt isn't a bad choice. (Frankly, the state of Tennessee has the two best candidates at the moment, VU and the hard-charging Vols.)

If the Dores don't win the SEC tourney, however, this next month is still valuable. An NIT bid and the promise of extra March games -- giving young players more time to learn and grow under first-year coach Bryce Drew -- holds more value for VU than for a team with a veteran coach at a program which expects more (cough, cough, Arkansas, cough). Vanderbilt just has to keep the boat moving in the right direction. The wind is at Team Drew's back.

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