Mississippi State Basketball: Bracketology outlook brighter for Bulldogs after crucial wins

Mississippi State basketball got back on track with wins over Georgia and Missouri. Have the Bulldogs moved up in the latest bracketology?
Feb 7, 2024; Starkville, Mississippi, USA; Mississippi State Bulldogs forward Tolu Smith (1) dunks
Feb 7, 2024; Starkville, Mississippi, USA; Mississippi State Bulldogs forward Tolu Smith (1) dunks / Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports

After suffering back-to-back losses to Ole Miss and Alabama, Mississippi State basketball badly needed to right the ship against Georgia and Missouri. Right the ship they did, defeating the Athens-based Bulldogs 75-62 in Starkville and the Tigers in Columbia 75-51.

These were as close to must-win games as you could have at this point in the season. Georgia was the 88th ranked team in the NET. With the game being played in Starkville, that made it a Quad 3 matchup for Mississippi State.

The same was true for the road tilt with the 153rd ranked Tigers. With Chris Jans' squad firmly on the bubble, a loss to either, without question, would have dropped State out of projected brackets.

While those wins did little to improve MSU's resume, taking a loss would have hurt it significantly. Avoiding a loss merely served as resume protection, and as a result, MSU is still projected as a tournament team at the moment. But are they seen as being "safely" in the field?

Let's take a look at the updated bracket projections...

Current Bracket Projections

Busting Brackets: 11-seed, East Region

ESPN: 9-seed, West Region

CBS Sports: 11-seed, East Region

Fox Sports: 10-seed, East Region

USA Today: 10-seed, East Region

Andy Katz: 10-seed, West Region

Bracketville: 10-seed, West Region

Making the Madness: 11-seed, South Region

Heat Check CBB: 10-seed, West Region

T3 Bracketology: Last Four In

JBR Bracketology: 11-seed

Bracket Matrix Average: 11-seed, Last Four in (Not Yet Updated)


Overall, Mississippi State basketball saw a slight rise in most bracket projections. Last week, they were largely amongst the "Last Four In". While a few bracketologists still have them there, most with updated brackets have moved them above that category. While neither the Georgia or Missouri win are particularly impressive, handling business counts for something.

And despite Missouri being pretty awful this season, State beating them by 24 on the road was a dominant enough performance to help out their profile. MSU moved up to 36th in the NET, and their predictive metric average improved to 35th. Also, simply adding a road win to the resume was crucial for the Bulldogs. All of that combined to move them up the seed list.

The Bulldogs are by no means safely in the field of 68 at the moment. They sill have plenty of work left to do to assure they hear their names called on Selection Sunday, and winning this weekend at Missouri is a near necessity.

Last week, I laid out the path for Mississippi State basketball to return to March Madness for the second-straight year. They're in decent position, and If they can avoid taking any more bad losses and add a few more quality wins, they should reach the Big Dance.