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Mississippi State Bulldogs Versus Arkansas Razorbacks Basketball Preview

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The Bulldogs head to Fayetteville for their second straight road game in SEC play.

NCAA Basketball: Mississippi State at Louisiana State Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

It’s been a tale of two games for the Mississippi State Bulldogs Men’s Basketball team. The Bulldogs looked lethargic against an Alabama Crimson Tide team at home, but they looked like a potential NCAA Tournament team against the LSU Tigers on the road. So which team shows up when they travel to Fayetteville to take on the Arkansas Razorbacks? We try to figure that out.

Broadcast Info and Venue

  • Location: Fayetteville, AR (Bud Walton Arena)
  • Time: 8:00 p.m.
  • Television: SEC Network
  • Radio: MSU Radio Network (Check local listings, also played on the Tune-In Radio App)

Info to know

Mississippi State Profile

  • Record (10-4, 1-1 SEC)
  • Record on the road: 3-1
  • RPI: 157
  • Current Place in SEC Standings: 7th

Arkansas Profile

  • Record (12-3, 1-2 SEC)
  • Record at home: 9-1
  • RPI: 24
  • Current Place in SEC Standings: Tied for 8th

Projected Starting Lineups

Mississippi State

  • Quinndary Weatherspoon (17.7 PPG, 47.2 FG%, 41.1 3PT%, 4.9 RPG)
  • Lamar Peters (9.8 PPG, 44.4 FG%, 45.6 3PT%, 5.1 APG)
  • Mario Kegler (9.7 PPG, 40.5 FG%, 33.3 3PT%, 5.7 RPG)
  • Aric Holman (10.1 PPG, 51.5 FG%, 6.6 RPG, 2.3 BPG)
  • Schneider Herard (3.5 PPG, 52.9 FG%, 5.0 RPG)

Arkansas

  • Daryl Macon (14.1 PPG, 47.0 FG%, 2.5 APG, 39.1 3PT%)
  • Dusty Hannahs (13.9 PPG, 42.8 FG%, 35.1 3PT%, 2.0 APG)
  • Manuale Watkins (6.0 PPG, 54.8%, 1.0 RPG)
  • Anton Beard (9.2 PPG, 43.3 FG%, 35.0 3PT%, 2.5 RPG)
  • Moses Kingsley (11.3 PPG, 45.3 FG%, 8.7 RPG, 2.9 BPG)

The Storylines

  • Schneider Herard faces his toughest challenge of the season. He’ll be tasked with slowing down Arkansas big man Moses Kingsley. The good news is Kingsley isn’t the greatest offensive player, but Herard will need to make some noise on the offensive end himself. Kingsley is the SEC’s leader in blocks per game, and if Kingsley doesn’t feel like Herard is a threat to score, Kingsley will likely leave him alone while he roams to block shots.
  • Mississippi State is coming off one of its best performances of the season while the Razorbacks are coming off one of their worst. The Bulldogs took it to LSU in a 95-78 win in Baton Rouge. Arkansas was pummeled by Kentucky on the road 97-71. This game will be whether or not the Bulldogs can keep the positive momentum going or if Arkansas can rebound from such a tough loss.
  • There should be plenty of points in this one. Mississippi State is in the middle of the pack in the SEC averaging 74.3 points and Arkansas is second only to Kentucky, averaging 81.9 points a game. Both teams are very adept at shooting the ball behind the three point arc as well. Mississippi State is second in the SEC shooting 37.3% and Arkansas shoots 36.5%
  • Arkansas revived the “40 Minutes of Hell” philosophy when they hired former Nolan Richardson assistant Mike Anderson to take over the program a few seasons ago. So far, the Razorbacks are forcing 13.2 turnovers a game and 7.7 steals. But Mississippi State has caused opposing offenses problems as well. The Bulldogs have forced 14.8 turnovers per game and gotten and 7.9 steals.

Prediction

If Mississippi State comes out and plays at the height of their talent level, the Bulldogs could win this game, and I would go so far as to say they should win this game. But this will be the first time most of these players have played in Bud Walton Arena, a place the Bulldogs have not had much success in during prior seasons. I expect it to be close, but Arkansas squeaks out a win 86-81.