Who: Mississippi State Bulldogs @ South Carolina Gamecocks
Where to Watch: SEC Network
When to Watch: February 28th, 5 PM CST
As the 2014-2015 basketball season comes to a close the Bulldogs of Mississippi State will be looking for some momentum in what is sure to be a long off-season filled with a lot of questions. With only three games remaining before the start of the SEC Tournament, MSU has a chance to move up the SEC standings and grab a more favorable seed in the tournament. The last three games come against teams currently ranked 8th, 12th and 14th in the SEC giving the Bulldogs a realistic shot of winning out....IF they play to their full potential.
Last time out for MSU, the Bulldogs were fairly competitive against the immensely talented Kentucky Wildcats before being ran out of the gym in the second half. The final score of the contest was 74-56 but the defeat wasn't as horrendous as some had feared.Unfortunately,no matter the result for Mississippi State in Columbia this weekend the Bulldogs are guaranteed a losing regular season record for the 3rd straight season. Craig Sword continues to play an integral part in Mississippi State's offense. The 10 points he contributed against the Wildcats on Wednesday night propelled him to over 1,000 career points, the 34th player in school history to reach such a milestone. Mississippi State has enough offensively minded players with Sword, Roquez Johnson and Gavin Ware all able to contribute 20 points on any given night but an average of 15 turnovers per game has kept Mississippi State from their true potential.
Frank Martin once had the South Carolina Gamecocks on the verge of the AP Top 25. The upset win over a Top 10 Iowa State squad propelled the Gamecocks onto a national stage and many people began to believe that Martin had the Gamecocks on their way to a top 5 finish in the SEC. The Gamecock fanbase quickly fell down to Earth as South Carolina began conference play with a 1-6 record. However, there have been glimmers of hope for USC this season as the Gamecocks have manhandled rival Georgia in both of their meetings this season. The Gamecocks do have a couple of weapons on offense with Duane Notice and Sindarius Thornwell carrying most of the load, the duo are the only Gamecocks averaging double-figures this season.
This game has very little consequence on the season outside of seeding in the SEC Tournament. Although if the Bulldogs continue to lose or even lose out we could be witnessing the Rick Ray farewell tour. As long as Mississippi State continues to turn the ball over they will continue to lose ballgames. South Carolina is a team very capable of running and scoring in transition. More than 10 turnovers could spell disaster for the Bulldogs this weekend and unless more than one player steps up on offense the Bulldogs are looking at their fourth straight loss.
Prediction: South Carolina 69-65
Dawg Facts: South Carolina is the only team in the SEC that Mississippi State has a winning road record against.