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Preview: Texas A&M vs. Mississippi State

The 8-5 Bulldogs visit Reed Arena having launched themselves squarely into the bubble conversation (Saturday 2:30pm; SEC Network)

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NCAA Basketball: South Carolina at Mississippi State Matt Bush-USA TODAY Sports

Time: Saturday at 2:30pm

Place: Reed Arena

TV: SEC Network

Advanced Metrics via KenPom: Texas A&M has a 35% chance to win

Results of Note

The Bulldogs started conference play 0-3... then ran off an 8-2 stretch that has them currently listed among the “first four out” via ESPN’s Bracketology. Their only two losses in that stretch are at first-place Kentucky and at rival Ole Miss... both of which are completely understandable.

They’re peaking at the right time, and they have absolutely everything to play for.

Things to Watch

My biggest concern lies on the offensive glass.

Mississippi State starts four players 6-6 or taller, and they lead the SEC in offensive rebounding rate. These guys have grabbed an insane 37.5% of their missed shots over the course of the season, a mark that’s also good for third in the country. They are clearly the biggest offensive rebounding threat we’ve faced.

Unfortunately, it’s not just the glass... big man Reggie Perry has a really good offensive game. This guy is a surefire All-SEC selection, averaging slightly over 20 PPG over his last seven. He also shoots a respectable 32% from beyond the arc, which is just good enough to throw a wrench into even the best-laid defensive plans. Oh, and he also gets to the line at will... converting at a rate (76%) that’s extremely good for someone his size.

I have no doubt that Nebo will be up for the fight, but I’d advise that he eat his Wheaties tomorrow morning.

Overall Thoughts

Conventional wisdom suggests that the Bulldogs are in pretty good shape. They’re playing great ball, they have all the motivation in the world, and they have a strength that aligns perfectly with perhaps our biggest weakness.

But this Aggie team is anything but conventional.

Time after time, we’ve won games where the numbers suggested that we don’t have much of a chance. These guys continue to punch above their weight, and I’m hoping we can draw a good crowd to watch them try to do it again.

BTHO Mississippi State

Ticket Information

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Texas A&M vs. Mississippi State tickets