Antonio Blakeney scored a game-high 22 points, helping LSU defeat Tennessee 84-75 in the quarterfinals of the SEC Tournament in Nashville.

LSU has not met the loft expectations many pinned on them this season, but Blakeney says he and his teammates are not letting outside noise affect them.

"We've handled it pretty well, not worrying about what anyone thinks about us," said Blakeney. "We just know what we believe in and what we can do, so we just got to keep working."

All 5 LSU starters reached double-figures, including star Ben Simmons (15 pts, 8 rebs), who only played 4 minutes in the first half due to foul trouble.

"The guys did a great job without me and held the lead," explained Simmons. "Obviously we have an opportunity to win the SEC and get into the NCAA tournament. For us coming into this, we were just ready to play."

With the victory, the Tigers (19-13) advance to the semi-finals of the SEC tournament, playing #1 seed Texas A&M tomorrow at noon. The Tigers and Aggies split their season series, with the home team winning each game.

LSU's resume isn't strong for at large consideration in the NCAA tournament, though a few pundits feel they remain a bubble team.

For all intents and purposes, the Tigers will need to win the SEC tournament to punch their ticket.

After today's victory, they are two wins away.