Opening Tip: Getting you ready for LSU’s second-round NIT game with Utah tonight

Getting you ready for LSU's

LSU head coach Will Wade walks amongst his players with a stern look on his face as the Tigers host UL-Lafayette, Wednesday, March 14, 2018, in a National Invitation Tournament game at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center in Baton Rouge, La.

Opening Tip is posted about five hours before each game.

General Info

• What: LSU (18-14) at Utah (20-11)

• When: 8 p.m. Monday

• Where: Jon N. Huntsman Center, Salt Lake City, Utah

• All-time series: Utah leads 3-1

• Last meeting: Utah 61, LSU 59 (Jan. 2, 2010 in Baton Rouge)

• Streaking: LSU (W1), Utah (W1)

• TV: ESPNU (TBA, play-by-play; Mark Wise, analyst)

• Online: ESPN3.com

• Radio: WDGL-FM, 98.1; WWWL-AM, 1350; KLWB-FM, 103.7 (Chris Blair, play-by-play; John Brady, analyst)

• Up next: TBA

The Storyline

A berth in the NIT quarterfinals is on the line for LSU and Utah in their second-round matchup tonight. No. 3 seed LSU defeated UL-Lafayette in its first-round game before second-seeded Utah came from 10 points down in the third quarter to take care of UC Davis. The winner of this game will play Wednesday night in the quarterfinals against the survivor of the St. Mary’s-Washington game, which begins just after the conclusion of the LSU-Utah matchup. If St. Mary’s wins, LSU or Utah would have to make the trip to the Bay Area to face the top-seeded Gaels; if Washington prevails, the LSU-Utah winner would host.

Starting Five

• STAYING ALIVE: LSU is in the NIT second round for the second time in a row after getting there in 2014. The Tigers defeated San Francisco (71-63) then fell to SMU (80-67) to cap Johnny Jones’ second season.

• COMING BACK: Utah had to dig deep to get to this game when the Utes struggled with No. 7 seed UC Davis on Wednesday night. UC Davis led by 11 points in the first half and by 10 in the third quarter before Utah woke up.

• HOME COOKING: With the win over UC Davis, Utah improved to 13-3 on its home floor this season. The Utes’ only losses were to Arizona and Arizona State — who both made the NCAA tournament — and NIT participant USC.

• ROAD WOES: On the flip side of the coin is LSU, which is 3-7 in true road games with seven consecutive losses since beating Memphis, then upsetting Texas A&M and Arkansas in a five-day stretch in early January.

• HELPING HANDS: With 10 more assists, LSU freshman guard Tremont Waters will become the first LSU player to have 200 assists in a season since Kenny Higgs had a school-record 239 back in the 1976-77 season.

By the numbers

5-8 — LSU’s all-time record in the NIT. The Tigers are playing in the tournament for the eighth time.

The Lineups

LSU Tigers (18-14)

Probable starters

• G Tremont Waters, 5-11, Fr., 15.8 ppg, 5.9 apg

• G Skylar Mays, 6-4, So., 11.2 ppg, 4.0 rpg

• G Daryl Edwards, 6-3, Jr., 6.8 ppg, 1.6 rpg

• F Aaron Epps, 6-10, Sr., 9.4 ppg, 5.5 rpg

• F Duop Reath, 6-11, Sr., 12.7 ppg, 5.4 rpg

Key reserves

• F Wayde Sims, 6-6, So., 5.8 ppg, 3.0 rpg

• G Brandon Sampson, 6-5, Jr., 8.0 ppg, 2.7 rpg

• G Randy Onwuasor, 6-3, Sr., 4.4 ppg, 2.1 rpg

Utah Utes (20-11)

Probable starters

• G Justin Bibbins, 5-8, Sr., 14.8 ppg, 4.7 apg

• G Parker Van Dyke, 6-3, Jr., 4.5 ppg, 1.2 rpg

• G Gabe Bealer, 6-6, Sr., 6.0 ppg, 1.9 rpg

• F Tyler Rawson, 6-10, Sr., 10.6 ppg, 6.9 rpg

• F David Collette, 6-10, Sr., 12.7 ppg, 4.6 rpg

Key reserves

• G Sedrick Barefield, 6-2, Jr., 11.2 ppg, 2.1 rpg

• F Donnie Tillman, 6-7, Fr., 8.2 ppg, 2.5 rpg

• F/C Jayce Johnson, 7-0, So., 5.3 ppg, 5.4 rpg

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