February 29, 2012; Columbia, SC, USA; Mississippi State Bulldogs guard Brian Bryant (22) celebrates hitting the game winning shot in overtime against the South Carolina Gamecocks at Colonial-Life Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Blake-US PRESSWIRE
I have spent the last two weeks bashing Rick Stansbury. But that doesn't mean I don't want the Dawgs to succeed. I definitely live and die with every game. Beating South Carolina on Wednesday gave all MSU fans a ray of hope that this season could be salvageable. And here comes a big one - Arkansas.
Now, a home game against a team three games under .500 (6-9) in conference play should not be considered a 'big game'.. but it is. State beat a horrible Gamecock team, now it's time to step up and beat a mediocre Razorback team.
The plain, simple fact is: Win and get the #6 seed in the SEC Tourney or lose and get the #9 seed in the SEC Tourney. Win and the aroma of a NCAA Tourney bid will be in the air or lose and be left outside fighting to get back in. NOW is the time. Bulldogs, show us what you are made of.
This game may indeed determine the fate of Rick Stansbury. According to Joe Lunardi, MSU needs to win two more games to make the NCAA Tournament. If State can't win today, they'll be the #9 seed in the SEC Tourney. So, they'd face either Arkansas or LSU in the 1st round. If they were able to get past that game State would have to play Kentucky in the 2nd round. Moral of the story: if MSU doesn't win today, it will be really hard to win an additional two more games.
MSU is 5-2 at home this year, Arkansas is 1-6 on the road. The last time these two teams played it wasn't pretty, but that was way back when, nearly two months ago...the first game of the SEC season.
UPig is powered by Marshawn Powell - 19.5 PPG and 6.0 RPG. Mardracus Wade averages 10.8 PPG but that's it for double-digit scorers. They've only had three SEC games decided by 5 points or less this year. Florida beat them by 30 points (in Fayetteville), Tennessee beat 'em by 19, Georgia whipped them 81-59. Is there any question who should win this game?
It's senior day, and Dee Bost closes out a very good career in Starkville. Brian Bryant and Taylor Luczak will be graduating as well...congratulations to all of them. Hopefully they can lead the Dawgs to big things today.
We'll see what kind of moxy the Dawgs have today. Everything's out there for the taking, just have to get it done.