clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

SEC Hoops Preview: Vanderbilt

New, 2 comments

Mississippi State will be looking to bring an end to their four game losing streak as they head to Nashville to take on the Vanderbilt Commodores.

Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

Who: Mississippi State Bulldogs (12-17, 5-11) @ Vanderbilt Commodores (17-12, 7-9)

Where to Watch: SEC Network, WatchESPN

When to Watch: March 4th, 8 PM CST

The season is finally coming to an end, this will be the last road game of the 2014-2015 basketball season for Mississippi State. Unless the Bulldogs win their final two regular season games and go on a run to win the SEC Tournament Mississippi State will finish with a losing record for the third straight season. Wednesday's matchup against Vanderbilt will be the second meeting between the SEC foes this season with the Bulldogs squeaking out the 57-54 win back in January. The Commodores lead the all-time series 76-47, but the Bulldogs have won the last two in the series.

The game taking place in Nashville this Wednesday will feature two teams trending in very different directions. Winners in six of their last 8 contests, the Commodores have rebounded nicely since beginning SEC play with a 1-7 record and now find themselves tied with Florida and Alabama for 7th place. Vanderbilt has continued to show resiliency all season long and that was no different on Saturday night when Vandy stormed back from an 11 point halftime defecit to defeat Alabama. Vanderbilt is far from an offensive juggernaut but the Commodores do have some offensive weapons that could cause some issues for the Bulldogs. Damian Jones made life hectic for MSU the last time these two teams met as he poured in 21 points on 9 of 13 shooting.

Whatever good vibes Mississippi State fans were feeling after the wins over LSU and Tennessee are long gone. The Bulldogs are now in the midst of losing six of their last seven games, including four straight. Turnovers, blown leads, the often embarrassing inability to score. Nothing has gone right for Mississippi State the last few weeks and with only two games left in the regular season there is no time left to right the ship now. No matter the opponent, Mississippi State usually has one player step up and score at a decent clip, against South Carolina it was Craig Sword who contributed 21 points, but it is never enough to overcome the number of turnovers the Bulldogs seemingly have in each game. The Bulldogs are averaging 15 turnovers a game and it doesn't matter if you are Kentucky or Northern Illinois, if you average more than 10 turnovers a game you aren't going to come out victorious very often.

Vanderbilt has been on a roll lately and the Bulldogs? Not so much. Momentum is a real thing in college basketball (unless you're NC State) and Kevin Stallings always has his team ready to go. No matter your opinion on the trajectory of the Mississippi State basketball program it is important for all Bulldog fans to cheer on the four dedicated seniors, Roquez Johnson, Trivante Bloodman, Jeffery Johnson and Isaiah Butler, as their careers begin to come to an end. They came to play for the university and community we love and they deserve all the credit in the world. Everyone will get a chance to honor their commitment to MSU when the Bulldogs return home for a final home battle with Missouri this Saturday.

Prediction: Vanderbilt 58-50

Dawg Facts: The Bulldogs will NOT finish last in the SEC! The Missouri Tigers have already claimed 14th place in the SEC standings.