IN PHOTOS: Vanderbilt reaches semi-finals in SEC Tournament

Commodore men’s basketball brings Memorial Magic to Bridgestone Arena, advancing to semifinals in the SEC tournament.


Ophelia Lu

Ezra Manjon jumps for a layup, as photographed on Mar 10, 2023. (Hustler Multimedia/Ophelia Lu)

Nikita Rohila and Ophelia Lu

No. 6 seed Vanderbilt entered Bridgestone Arena on March 9 for the SEC Men’s Basketball Tournament with hopes to enter the NCAA Tournament. First, though, the Commodores had to beat No. 14 seed LSU

After losing to LSU in February, the ‘Dores battled hard to seek revenge. The strong offensive triangle formed by Tyrin Lawrence, Ezra Manjon and Jordan Wright powered the team through until the final buzzer, and Vanderbilt beat the Tigers 77-68

The team advanced to the quarterfinals against No. 3 seed Kentucky the following day.

Two weeks ago, the Commodores beat the Wildcats in Rupp Arena. Now, Kentucky looked for a rematch. The ‘Dores powered through the game and delivered a second blow to the Wildcats. With a final score of 80-73, the men’s team advanced to the SEC Tournament semifinals. 

“That was an unbelievable game to be a part of,” Stackhouse said after the win. “Both teams were battling, a lot of ups and downs in that game. They got off to a quick start. We continued to battle and weather the storm.”

On March 11, Vanderbilt faced off against Texas A&M for the afternoon semifinal game. The No. 3 seed had the upper hand having only played one game in the tournament thus far. After a rough first half, the ‘Dores fell to the Aggies despite a strong effort in the second half. 

“I think we handled our part of it,” Stackhouse said on Vanderbilt’s chances of getting a NCAA Tournament bid. “We’ve done all that we could do as far as playing the game I think the right way, playing hard, tough.” 

Although the Commodores did not make it into the NCAA Tournament, Ezra Manjon received SEC All-Tournament honors, and the men’s team accepted a bid into the National Invitation Tournament. Memorial Magic will return on March 14 for a match against Yale at 8 p.m. CDT.