Bulldogs Play Host To UMass In Opening Round Of The NIT

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Mississippi State battles UMass at 6 p.m. Tuesday in the opening round of the NIT at the Hump.
Photo Courtesy of hailstate.com

STARKVILLE - After a one-year absence, Mississippi State finds itself back in the postseason.

Sunday night, the Bulldogs, seeded 4th, received a bid from the NIT, and they will play host to No. 5-seed Massachusetts on Tuesday at 6 p.m. in a game televised by ESPN2. The winner advances to player either top-seeded Seton Hall or Stony Brook.

It will be the first meeting between the two, while MSU is currently 16-9 against teams that comprise the Atlantic-10. The last A-10 foe the Bulldogs battled was St. Bonaventure in December of 2009, a game Mississippi State won handily, 105-53.

"Naturally, we are disappointed we are not playing in the NCAA Tournament, but at the same time we are looking forward to the NIT," 14th-year MSU coach Rick Stansbury said. "UMass had a great year and is playing extremely well in a very competitive conference. They are very talented and the thing that stands out is how deep they are."

This is MSU's 18th post-season berth (10 NCAA and 6 NIT) and 11th with Stansbury at the helm. All-time, MSU is 18-17 in post-season play, 7-7 in the NIT.

In Mississippi State's last NIT run in 2010, MSU knocked off Jackson State 81-67 before losing on a last-second shot to North Carolina, 76-74.

"I'm thankful for another opportunity, especially after leaving the SEC Tournament on a sour note," senior All-SEC guard Dee Bost said. "As a senior, I'm looking forward to playing at least one more game at the Hump."

Tickets will be $20 for Bulldog Club members and general public and $4 for students. Basketball season ticket holders can purchase tickets online and print at home now by logging into their Dog Tag account. They can also be purchased at the ticket office or by phone at 888-GO-DAWGS beginning at 8 a.m., Monday. There is a $5 processing fee for each order and an additional $2 fee for Will Call pick up. Print at home orders will not be charged an additional fee.

Initial NIT orders cannot exceed the number of regular season basketball tickets ordered on Bulldog Club accounts. Any additional tickets requested will be allocated after all priority orders are filled.

Any tickets not purchased by 5 p.m. Monday will be released and sold to the general public online beginning at 7 p.m. Monday or by phone at 8 a.m. Tuesday.  All tickets not printed at home will be available at Will Call on game day.

Those who purchase first-round tickets will have first option to renew their seats for subsequent rounds that are hosted by Mississippi State.


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