Reliving the 2004 Game in Tuscaloosa

I was in college in 2004, and my fondest MSU sports memories during my time at State revolve around the 2004 basketball team. Going to this classic game at Coleman Coliseum probably tops the list, and this is my story (you can read thecristilmethod's experience of that game HERE).

If you've ever been to Coleman Coliseum, you know it's basically an airplane hanger they play basketball games in. Half the seats in the arena are awful, and mine was no different. Me and my four friends were in the rafters, the kind of seats where you are swaying left and right the entire game to see through the heads of the people in front of you.

The game started off in a bad way, and State was down 18 points at halftime. Bama had beaten MSU at the hump two weeks prior, so the fact they were winning on their own court wasn't a surprise. But the fact the Tide were unranked and State was #5, and the Bulldogs had never let a game slip away like this was a surprise.

My four friends and I who where at this game had been to every game at the hump and a few road games that year. We had special seats. We had an order in the way we sat. And we got to the Hump early every game so we could sit in the exact same seat every game. There were two exceptions: vs. Kentucky and vs. Alabama. MSU lost both games. We had to sit a few rows behind our lucky seats in both of those games, and our order was off too. At halftime of this game in Tuscaloosa, we noticed we were not in our lucky order.

So we corrected the problem. Still, the Dawgs found it hard to come back against the likes of Earnest Sheldon and Chuck Davis. Alabama was a good team, they made it to the Elite 8 that year.

There was a Bama fan a few rows ahead of us, I'll call him 'dork'. He picked us out because of our maroon clothing (we were in an Alabama section, although there had to of been 30% MSU fans at the game). Even though he was twice our age, he looked back every time Alabama made a shot, raised his arm and flipped his wrist at us. Not exactly in a Ross the Intern type of way, but more of a gesture of shooting a basketball.

Then came the run. With eight minutes to play our lucky seating order took full effect. Mississippi State was down 64-48, then Shane Power hit a couple 3's and before we knew it the game was tied at 67. 'Dork' was quiet.

When Timmy Bowers defined clutch at the end of regulation, 'dork' quietly walked down the aisle. He was not seen during overtime. Bowers had even more magic then, and State won 82-81. SEC Championship, 8-0 road warriors. Pure glory in maroon and white. Amazing.

Walking down the stairs to leave the airplane hanger it was loud. MSU fans were everywhere, and happy to be part of a championship. Once my face hit the spring time sun I still couldn't believe what I had seen. A GREAT comeback, in a HUGE game. No doubt it was, and is Stansbury's biggest win.

Not all memories at the Coleman Coliseum are fond. I went back the next year and State was on the wrong side of a 98-49 affair, probably the worst game of his career. Let's hope Saturday's game falls somewhere in between. The stakes aren't as high, but a win would be huge for the sake of saving a season that has gone off the tracks.

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