College basketball's conference tournaments can do a lot for teams trying to improve their standing before the NCAA tournament. Not only can teams pick up automatic bids if they win their conferences, but a good showing and an upset or two might take teams which are out of the field and put them on the right side of the bubble just in time to go dancing.
As for the SEC tournament, it continues on Friday as the LSU Tigers take on the Florida Gators in the quarterfinals. They will now be able to play their freshman guard Javonte Smart, who has been out of action due to an ongoing NCAA investigation into his head coach.
Smart, averaging 11 points-per-game, can definitely give the Tigers a boost on the floor, and could be the difference against Florida. His head coach, Will Wade, has also made it clear that he would like to return to LSU in time for the NCAA tournament. Wade has been placed on administrative leave because of the same ongoing investigation.
That investigation has centered around alleged wiretapped conversations involving coach Wade, with respect to acquiring the services of Smart while he was still a recruit.
It isn't Wade's decision to make as it relates to if and when he can resume coaching his team. A slew of potential NCAA violations make it that much harder. However far LSU advances in the tournament may get wiped out after the fact if Wade coaches the Tigers while in violation of any NCAA rules.