Mississippi State basketball bubble watch – 2/28/23



As the 2023 college basketball regular season winds down, Chris Jans and the Mississippi State Bulldogs are fighting for a spot in the NCAA Tournament.

We are one day away from March, and the NCAA Tournament bubble continues to inhabit the  minds of this country’s sports fans. That is the mood in Starkville and beyond, as Mississippi State is squarely in the March Madness mix for the first time in four years. 

With the Bulldogs fluctuating on the bubble, a lot can determine their placement in the  Tournament bracket. That calls for a bubble update. Here’s where things stand at the moment  and where State is situated. 

MSU in Joe Lunardi’s Current Bracketology: Last Four In (First Team) 

MSU in Joe Lunardi’s Previous Bracketology: Last Four Byes (Last Team)  Yesterday’s Results  

Some games of importance occurred last night that have shifted MSU’s placement on the  Tournament bubble. 

West Virginia 72, Iowa State 69  

The Mountaineers of West Virginia were singing “Country Roads” as their squad picked up  massive road win at Iowa State. Prior to Monday, the ‘Neers were in Joe Lunardi’s Last Four In.  With yesterday’s victory, WVU’s fifth Quad 1 win of the season, they moved into Lunardi’s Last  Four Byes.  


Mississippi State had found themselves as the last team in Lunardi’s Last Four Byes list on  Monday, but the Bulldogs’ spot has been taken by Bob Huggins and company. West Virginia  (17-13, 23 in the NET) is a team to watch for the remainder of the season. 

Baylor 74, Oklahoma State 68  

On Monday, Oklahoma State hung by a thread in Joe Lunardi’s bracketology as his Last Team  In. The Cowboys had a golden opportunity to move up the bubble, hosting Baylor in what  would’ve been a Quad 1 win. Despite a late rally from the Pokes, Baylor held on for a six-point  victory. 

OSU (16-14, 47 in the NET) has now dropped into Lunardi’s First Four Out, and as it currently  stands, is not a significant threat to Mississippi State’s Tournament chances. They are,  however, still worth watching as we approach March.

Wyoming 80, Nevada 71  

Nevada thought they found a safe spot in the Big Dance prior to Monday. After spending  significant time on Joe Lunardi’s bubble, the Wolfpack had finally been freed from the shackles  of uncertainty and was no longer listed as a bubble team according to ESPN’s bracketologist.  However, as Nevada learned, never sleep on the Wyoming Cowboys. 

Wyoming, who was 8-20 and 191 in the NET, notched a massive upset on Monday night by  knocking off Nevada at home. This is a devastating blow to the Wolfpack, as they have  plummeted back on Lunardi’s bubble as the second team in his Last Four Byes, just two spots ahead of Mississippi State. Nevada (21-8, 35 in the NET) is now a definite competitor with the  Bulldogs for a Tournament spot. 

Today’s Games to Watch


South Carolina at Mississippi State (8:00 PM CT, SEC Network)  

Well, this one’s obvious. Mississippi State (19-10, 39 in the NET) stays at The Hump tonight for  a conference tilt with South Carolina.  

Simply put, this is a must-win for the Bulldogs. The Gamecocks, currently 10-19 and 238 in the  NET, have an opportunity to play spoiler to State’s Tournament chances. I’m not sure how  much leverage MSU can receive with a win tonight, but a loss could potentially knock them out  of the Tournament field entirely. 

These two squads have met once already with State coming out on top in Columbia, 66-51. SC  has been an inconsistent team with flashes of greatness on the road. All three of the  Gamecocks’ conference wins have come on the road—Kentucky on January 10th, Ole Miss on  February 11th, and LSU on February 18th. Their last two contests were a two-point home loss  in overtime to Alabama and a 40-point road defeat at Tennessee. 

We don’t know which South Carolina team will appear tonight in Starkville, but nevertheless,  the Bulldogs absolutely must come out on the right side of the scoreboard. 

San Diego State at Boise State (8:00 PM CT, CBS Sports Network)  


Mississippi State currently sits as the first team in Joe Lunardi’s Last Four In. One spot behind  the Bulldogs is Boise State (21-7, 29 in the NET). The Broncos have a golden opportunity  tonight, as they host San Diego State—currently 22-5 and 15 in the NET. 

This would be a Quad 1 win for Boise, and it could move them ahead of Mississippi State in  the bracketology projections. It would be beneficial for the Bulldogs if the Aztecs can come  away with a road triumph. 

Clemson at Virginia (6:00 PM CT, ACC Network)  

Clemson (21-8, 60 in the NET) is not an immediate threat to Mississippi State, but they could  gain some traction with a win at Virginia—21-6 and 28 in the NET.  

The Tigers, who are projected in Joe Lunardi’s First Four Out, have a chance to notch their fifth  Quad 1 win tonight. While they likely wouldn’t bump State out of a spot if the Bulldogs defeat  South Carolina, Clemson could put themselves back in the Tournament picture if they find a  way to beat UVA on the road.

Follow Daniel Black on Twitter at @DanielCBlack.

For more independent Mississippi State news and commentary, follow The Underdog Tribune on Facebook and Twitter. Follow Ethan Lee on Facebook and Twitter.


Leave a Reply

Create a website or blog at WordPress.com

%d bloggers like this: