Mississippi State is fresh off a senior night victory against Florida on Wednesday that has kept the NCAA Tournament hopes alive. While the Rebels only beat Arkansas, they did so in impressive fashion playing with seven players. The Rebels have a chance to play spoiler for State's NCAA Tournament hopes and improve their own post-season stock at the same time.
With a victory tomorrow, the Rebels will all but seal a spot in the NIT (huzzah!). A win also clinches a .500 finish in SEC play, a stat that has to look good to the NIT selection committee (It pains me to fein interest in this tournament). I just pray we do not demean ourselves and accept an invite to the College Basketball Invitational. Don't worry if you have never heard of that tournament, I didn't even want to acknowledge its existence. Its championship game last year consisted of the Tulsa Golden Hurricanes and the mighty Bradley Braves.
Keys to the game:
-David Huertas needs to perform. We made it through Arkansas without him, but that was Arkansas. He is telling people he is set to play Saturday and his MRI on Monday came back negative so there shouldn't be any surprises. Who knows what Huertas is going to show up?
-Terrico White. Nuff' said.
-Keep Varnado quiet. Varnado is nearly averaging a double-double on the season and is still the prolific shot blocker that he was a year ago. Malcolm and company need to attack JV early and often to limit his impact.
-Perimeter defense. MSU loves the three ball and it seems that teams love hitting their threes against Ole Miss.
I have the Rebels pulling this one out tomorrow. I think it will be a close game, but the Rebels hit some FTs down the end to win 74-69.