Bulldogs snap 10 year NCAA tournament drought

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STARKVILLE, Miss. – Mississippi State captured the program’s first NCAA Tournament bid since the 2008-09 season and will take on Liberty during its opening round game in San Jose as announced Sunday by the NCAA Selection Committee.

The Bulldogs, a No. 5 seed in the NCAA East Regional, were one of seven SEC schools among the NCAA’s Field of 68. MSU is joined by SEC regular season champion LSU, SEC Tournament champion Auburn along with Kentucky, Florida. Ole Miss and Tennessee. The No. 5 seed for MSU is the program’s highest in the NCAA Tournament when the Bulldogs were a No. 2 seed in 2004.

Mississippi State (23-10, 10-8 SEC) and Liberty (28-6, 14-2 Atlantic Sun) will meet in Friday’s NCAA Round of 64. Tip time is slated for 6:27 p.m. CT from the SAP Center in San Jose. The game will be televised by truTV and will be available online through the NCAA March Madness app.

No. 4 seed Virginia Tech (24-8, 12-6 ACC) and No. 13 seed Saint Louis (23-12, 10-8 Atlantic 10) will take the floor 30 minutes following the MSU-Liberty matchup. The two winners advance to Sunday’s NCAA Round of 32 with a tip time to be determined.

Mississippi State has a very limited quantity of tickets for the NCAA tournament games in San Jose. On Monday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., the MSU Athletic Ticket Office will be taking requests from the top 1000 Bulldog Club members with a limit of up to six tickets. If any tickets remain, requests will be taken from all Bulldog Club members beginning at 8 a.m. Tuesday morning. Tickets are $100 apiece for each session. Ticket requests fulfilled will be available for will call pickup at the SAP Center in San Jose. Tickets to the San Jose first and second rounds games also are available on www.TicketMaster.com.

The winner from the San Jose pod advances to the NCAA Sweet 16 and the regional semifinals in Washington D.C. on Friday, March 29 and will face the winner of the Columbia, South Carolina pod which features No. 1 seed Duke, No. 8 seed Virginia Commonwealth, No. 9 seed UCF and the winner of the play-in game between No. 16 seed North Carolina Central or No. 16 seed North Dakota State. The 2019 NCAA Final Four will be played at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota on April 6 and April 8.

In total, Mississippi State has secured seven of its 11 NCAA Tournament selections dating back to the 2001-02 season. The Bulldogs advanced to the 1996 NCAA Final Four under Richard Williams when Mississippi State defeated VCU, Princeton, Connecticut and Cincinnati.

The MSU men’s and women’s programs will be making its fourth joint NCAA Tournament trip, the previous appearances were in 2002, 2003 and 2009. Vic Schaefer’s squad won the SEC’s automatic bid and will learn its tournament draw on Monday.

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