STARKVILLE, Miss. — The Mississippi State men’s basketball program (23-10) has earned the No. 5 seed in the 2019 NCAA Tournament. The Bulldogs will face the 12-seeded Liberty Flames (28-6) of the Atlantic Sun Conference. This is the first time that the Bulldogs have earned a spot in the NCAA Tournament since 2009.
The Bulldogs and Flames will play on Friday at the SAP Center in San Jose, California. Tip time is set for 6:27 p.m. CT and will be televised by truTV. If the Bulldogs win their first-round matchup, they will face the winner of No. 4 seed Virginia Tech (24-8) and No. 13 seed Saint Louis (23-12) with a trip to the Sweet 16 on the line.
Mississippi State comes in to the NCAA Tournament after losing to Tennessee in the quarterfinals of the Southeastern Conference Tournament. The Bulldogs are led by senior Quinndary Weatherspoon, who is averaging 18.2 points a game. Junior Lamar Peters is second on the team in scoring with an average of 11.2 points a game and leads the team in assists (171) and 3-pointers made (82). Freshman Reggie Perry leads the team with 7.1 rebounds a game.
Liberty won the Atlantic Sun Conference and is led by junior Scottie James, who is averaging 13.1 points and 8.8 boards a game. Guards Caleb Homesley and Lovell Cabbil Jr. are also scoring in double figures with 12 points and 11.5 points a game, respectively. The Flames average 74 points a game, while holding their opponents to 60.8 points a game.