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Ole Miss vs. Mississippi State basketball 2015: Preview, how to watch and open thread

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Let's please not blow this thing, OK?

Spruce Derden-USA TODAY Sports

As things sit right now, the 17-8 (8-4 SEC) Rebel Roundballers look to be a solidly into the NCAA Tournament, projected by the various pundits as either an 8 or 9-seed. But it only takes a bad loss or two -- like say, their Thursday night contest against Mississippi State in Starkville -- to change that in a hurry. This is the exact type of late-season trap game that has repeatedly befuddled Andy Kennedy in the past, so completing the season sweep of Clanga and avoiding a letdown in the Hump is paramount.

State, meanwhile, is trying desperately to salvage the wreckage of a 12-13 (5-7 SEC) season. Beating the Rebs, of course, would get 'em plenty riled up. Ole Miss knocked off State when they travelled up to Oxford in late January, but it wasn't easy -- the Rebs trailed most of the game (we were down 13 at one point in the second half) but rode a late surge to a 79-73 win.

The tip is at 8 p.m CT on ESPN2. We didn't have time to put together a drinking game, but you could always just use the one we made for the first matchup. So tell us your booze of choice and follow along in the comments section.