LSU basketball hasn't won in 2023. Here are the four best chances left in Matt McMahon's first season
BATON ROUGE - It's been a rough start to the year for LSU basketball.
The Tigers (12-10, 1-8 SEC) still haven't won a game in 2023. LSU is 0-9 in the new year and has lost nine straight after falling 87-77 to Missouri on Wednesday.
Expectations around the Tigers heading into coach Matt McMahon's first season weren't astronomically high. Few anticipated that LSU would be a shoo-in NCAA Tournament team after losing eight players to the transfer portal and two others to the NBA Draft in the offseason.
But for LSU to be this uncompetitive against the SEC, especially after going 11-1 in nonconference play and defeating Arkansas to begin its conference slate, is a surprise.
Here are LSU's best chances to break its losing streak.
Georgia, Feb. 14
LSU's next three matchups come against No. 5 Alabama on Saturday, Mississippi State on Feb. 8 and Texas A&M on Feb. 11, all teams with at least a realistic chance of playing in March Madness. An LSU win over any of those teams would be a considerable upset.
That means the Tigers' next best chance of breaking its skid comes against Georgia.
The Bulldogs have been a lot better this season than in recent ones. They are 14-8 and 4-5 in conference play after winning just six games last season, as Georgia has posted just one record above .500 record since 2018-19.
But despite their improvement, the Bulldogs are still a flawed team. Georgia is the No. 107 team in the nation, according to KenPom.com's rankings: 129th on offense and 103rd on defense. Entering Wednesday's games, the Bulldogs were just ninth in points per game scored and allowed in the SEC.
South Carolina, Feb. 18
LSU's best shot at breaking its skid will be against South Carolina.
South Carolina is 8-14 this season and 1-8 in conference play. The Gamecocks are only averaging 63.7 points per game and are shooting just 44.3% from 2-point range. Defensively, they have surrendered nearly 79 points per contest in SEC play.
But that's not all. According to KenPom, South Carolina is the No. 254 team in the nation which is dead last among SEC schools.
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Vanderbilt, Feb. 22
Vanderbilt has been frisky at times this season, posting a win over Arkansas and nearly beating Missouri.
But the Commodores are only 10-12 overall and 3-6 against the SEC this season. Vanderbilt has struggled to shoot the ball, only posting a 41.6% field goal percentage and 32.1% 3-point shooting percentage this season.
A win over Vanderbilt for LSU wouldn't be the least bit surprising.
Ole Miss, Feb. 25
The Rebels have continued to struggle after posting a 13-19 record last season.
Ole Miss is 9-13 overall and 1-8 in conference play. It has the 142nd-ranked offense in the country, according to KenPom, and has allowed 37.2% 3-point shooting against SEC competition on defense.
Like LSU, almost nothing has gone right for the Rebels. That's exactly why they are a prime candidate for the Tigers to potentially beat.
Koki Riley covers LSU sports for The Daily Advertiser and the USA TODAY Sports South Region. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter at @KokiRiley.
This article originally appeared on Lafayette Daily Advertiser: LSU basketball schedule: Best chances for Matt McMahon to win in 2023