Five Potential Bid-Stealers for Mississippi State Basketball Fans to Know

With Mississippi State basketball on the NCAA Tournament bubble entering Champ Week, here are five potential bid-stealers Bulldog fans should be weary of.

Mar 5, 2024; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; UNLV Rebels forward Karl Jones (22) celebrates the win over San
Mar 5, 2024; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; UNLV Rebels forward Karl Jones (22) celebrates the win over San / Candice Ward-USA TODAY Sports
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South Florida Bulls basketball

South Florida has been one of the best stories of the college basketball season. After leading Kennesaw State to the NCAA Tournament last season and nearly knocking off 3-seed Xavier in the opening round, Amir Abdur-Rahim took over in Tampa and has orchestrated one of the best turnarounds in the sport.

The Bulls have put together their best regular season in school history with 23 wins, and they won the outright American Conference title with a 16-2 record. But as is the case with Richmond in the A-10, USF is not the team in its conference that's locked up a trip to March Madness.

USF's metric ranks are poor, their strength of schedule was horrible, and they own multiple bad losses. There's no overcoming that in the Selection Committee's eyes. Their in-state rivals down in Boca Raton, on the other hand, are tournament-bound.

Fresh off last season's incredible run to the Final Four, FAU will once again be a part of the Big Dance after an impressive debut in the AAC. And if the Owls don't win the AAC Tournament, there'll be another bid stolen from the bracket.

South Florida is easily the most obvious candidate to be that bid-stealer considering they one the league title. With a good defense and great three-point shooting, they're deadly to go up against. But don't rule out a super-talented (though underachieving) Memphis squad from making things interesting too.