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Madison Square Garden, Here We Come!

Posted by Kevin on March 21, 2007

Mississippi State has reached the final four of the MasterCard NIT tournamet, following another dominating performance in a win over Florida State.  In fact, State has dominated each of their three opponents thus far in the NIT; Valley by 19, Bradley by 29, and FSU by 15.

I knew we would blow out MVSU and knew we would beat Bradley.  Florida State was a matchup I was concerned about.  After all, this is a team many were shocked that didn’t make the NCAA field and then was snubbed with a #2 seed in the NIT.  They also have the ACC player of the year runner-up in Al Thornton, a monster of a player who can hurt you anywhere on the court.  I thought playing at home would give us a good chance at winning and we’ve been playing good ball lately.  I didn’t think we would dominate the game from start to finish the way we did, though.

So now State finds itself preparing for a trip to New York city to take on another #1 seed in West Virginia in the semifinal round.

It’s a bittersweet feeling for State fans after being left out of the big dance.  Sure, I’d love for State to be in the NCAA tourney, but I’m not going to pine over it.  We simply didn’t take care of business along the way.  We let too many games get away in the last couple of minutes.  But the positive is we’re still playing.  The team is very young; only one senior sees any significant playing time and our lone starting junior will be back next season.  The majority of the team is freshmen and sophomores.  Still playing at this point in the season, even in the NIT, is a good thing.  It’s still a tournament, and there is still plenty to be playing for.  This post-season experience will only help going into next year.  They know what it feels like to let games they should have won get away.  They know what winning big games feels like.  They know what it feels like being left out of the big dance.  And, now, they’re going to know what it feels like playing with a shot at a championship riding on the line on a big stage.

Good luck Bulldogs!  Give ’em hell!



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