Mississippi State Basketball has put together two consecutive wins, but they will need more than that to get back in the March Madness conversation.
Chris Jans and the Mississippi State basketball team have won their second game in a row, finally finding a road SEC win against South Carolina. After a dominant second half, Shak Moore led the Dawgs to a 15-point win, 66-51.
Joe Lunardi’s Bracketology listed Mississippi State in the last possible consideration spot today. After Saturday’s Bulldog win against #11 ranked TCU, the Bulldogs might have moved up at least one spot with the victory over the South Carolina Gamecocks.
Shak Moore led the Bulldogs with 22 points, going 9 for 11 from the floor. This performance was his career high and followed an 11-point and 5-assist game against the TCU Horned Frogs. Tyler Stevenson came off the bench for the Bulldogs tonight, scoring 12 points. The momentum seems to be slowly swinging in the Dawgs’ direction, but they will still need to stick to the simple yet effective mantra: One Game at a Time.
The SEC schedule for the Bulldogs eases up a tad compared to the first weeks of conference play. With 9 games remaining, Mississippi State needs to ride this winning wave as much as possible to have a chance of making the Big Dance in March.
The month of February contains some tough matchups for State, including the next matchup against Missouri on Saturday, February 4th in Starkville. If the Bulldogs can follow the lead of consistent play by Shak Moore and Tolu Smith, and possibly get a lucky bounce of the basketball here and there, they will need to find at least 7 more wins in league play.
After the February 4th matchup with Missouri, the Bulldogs will play the LSU Tigers on the 8th and follow that with a road game in Fayetteville vs. the Arkansas Razorbacks. If Mississippi State can stay in the winning column, the biggest game of the year for the Bulldogs will land on February 15th with a home matchup against the Kentucky Wildcats. The schedule really lessens up then for Chris Jan’s squad with Ole Miss, Missouri, Texas A&M, South Carolina, and Vanderbilt to round out league play.
This team has the potential to make that “180-degree turn” in their season, but they have to take one game at a time and play the brand of basketball they are good at. Running the offense through Tolu Smith and letting Shak Moore continue to gain confidence, all while playing fierce defense, might give the Bulldogs a chance to make a run into the month of March.