Ah, the first basketball moment on the countdown. The accomplishment here is winning the '09 SEC basketball tourney, the moment is when State closed it out against Tennessee.
MSU beat Georgia, South Carolina, (SEC Champ) LSU and then the Vols to capture the title, which was played in Tampa, FL. It was the first time the Dawgs had won the tourney since 2002.
While this team wasn't Stansbury's best, it was his deepest. Late in the year and in the SEC Tourney he would substitute all five guys at once. Barry Stewart, Ravern Johnson and Jarvis Varnardo all averaged 12.__ points per game. Dee Bost was a freshman with 10.9 and 4.3 assists.
The Vols, led by Tyler Smith and Wayne Chism, had beaten Alabama and Auburn to get to the championship game. MSU put together a gutsy performance as they threw up three after three and Jarvis Varnardo continued his staunch defensive play down low. It was an exciting back and forth game.
With 1:31 to play, Phil Turner hit a three from 25 feet away to give State a 70-68 lead. With :08 to go and up 62-61, Turner deflected a Tennessee in-bounds pass and was fouled. He hit both free throws forcing UT to toss up a trey which was off the mark.
(Fast forward to 5:50 to get to the UT game):
Mississippi State 2009 SEC Tourney Champs (via sparky39762)
It was pretty awesome to watch the team come together over four days in Tampa. Even though it was a down year for the conference, it still took a great effort to get this done. Perhaps this is the last great memory of Stansbury's tenure.
After the tourney the NCAA selection committee thought MSU should get a 13 seed, and have to play the University of Washington in Portland, Oregon on a Thursday afternoon. Well, State lost. Tennessee didn't fair any better as they lost to Oklahoma State in the first round.