Mississippi State, Ole Miss NCAA Preview

Much like Mississippi State and Ole Miss dominated the college football landscape during the inaugural playoff rankings in 2014, this year is the closest equivalent for the two schools in college basketball.

For the first time since 2002, both the Bulldogs and Rebels are NCAA Tournament bound in the same season. First up is eight seed Ole Miss taking on nine seed Oklahoma, followed by five seed MSU against 12 seed Liberty.

So far, SEC teams are 4-0 in the tournament, giving the Rebs good reason to believe they’re plenty battled-tested enough to make it to the round of 32.

But even so, the Bulldogs aren’t trusting that classic 12-5 trap game upset. Mississippi State Head Men’s Basketball Coach Ben Howland said, “We sat there and watched the unveiling of the tournament on Sunday together. And right after they announced who we were playing, Seth Davis, I mean it was like boom! He said it right away, so it made my job real easy.”

Ole Miss Head Men’s Basketball Coach Kermit Davis Jr. said, “When you play in leagues like ours, when you’ve played in those kinds of games every night. I told our team yesterday, I said guys you’ve been tested in every way possible a college team can get tested by what you went through in an 18-game schedule in this league. So they’ve been in these big environments and big arenas. And do you have a little nerves, probably a little jitters at first when the ball is tipped and you get it going? Sure. But the biggest thing is just stay true to yourself, do what you do.”

Overall, the SEC has eight of its 14 men’s basketball programs represented in this year’s tournament.

Friday’s schedule:

Ole Miss vs. Oklahoma @ 12:40 p.m. on TruTV

Mississippi State vs. Liberty @ 7:27 p.m. on TruTV

Mississippi State Lady Bulldogs vs. Southern University at 8:30 p.m. on ESPN2

Categories: Local Sports, Sports

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