Game - Auburn @ Mississippi State - Sunday, January 16, 2011
Line - Mississippi State -10 1/2
Result - Mississippi State wins and covers easily, 85-66
Just like yesterday's game, we saw an obvious, heavy favorite get off to a great start and sprint to an easy victory, and easy cover. Mississippi State is just a far better team, especially at home in Starkville, than Auburn. Frankly, this was an easy call and not a very interesting game to watch.
When Helping A Big Favorite, Get Off To A Good Start
The officiating crew of Tony Greene, Antinio Petty, and Mike Nance wasted no time making sure Mississippi State, a double-digit favorite, spurted to an early lead when the game was just 2-0 and Antinio Petty called the always-there-but-rarely-called moving screen on Auburn's Josh Langford just 90 seconds into the game. The moving screen is a GREAT call for an official, or an officiating crew, on the take because it occurs away from the ball and most eyes are not focused there, rather focusing on the ball. Further, the physical nature of interior play in college basketball dictates that screens move often... they just aren't called often. But Antinio Petty, working with Tony Greene, called one here.
Then with Mississippi State leading 4-2 early, Tony Greene steps in with the always-fun and always-momentum-swinging "and one" play, which Dee Bost converted to extend the Bulldog lead to 7-2.
Then with the Bulldogs leading 9-3, Tony Greene calls ANOTHER "and one" call, this time converted by the Bulldogs' Kodi Augustus. Dave Neal, working for the SEC Network, openly questions the call, but it doesn't matter. Mississippi State is, as they say, much the best, and quickly that 9-3 lead is a 22-3 lead, and the Bulldogs cruise to an 85-66 victory, easily covering the 10 1/2 point spread.