Mississippi State Basketball: Bulldogs Slowly Climbing in Bracketology

After three-straight wins, Mississippi State basketball continues to improve its chances at reaching the NCAA Tournament. Where are the Bulldogs seeded in the latest bracketology?

Feb 17, 2024; Starkville, Mississippi, USA; Mississippi State Bulldogs forward Cameron Matthews (4)
Feb 17, 2024; Starkville, Mississippi, USA; Mississippi State Bulldogs forward Cameron Matthews (4) / Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports
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Mississippi State basketball has things rolling right now. The Bulldogs have won three-straight games in SEC play, bringing their record up to 17-8 (6-6). After a slow start to conference play against a brutal schedule, it was paramount that State began racking up wins once that schedule lightened up.

And that's exactly what they've done. State handled it's business against Georgia and Missouri, winning both games with relative ease. Their matchup with Arkansas wasn't quite the walk in the park fans were hoping for. A struggling Razorbacks squad gave MSU all it could handle, with the Bulldogs winning the game in the final minute, 71-67.

But it was a win nonetheless, and it's worth acknowledging that Arkansas is playing better basketball as of late. They just went on the road and took down Texas A&M. Regardless of how State got those wins, all that really matters is that they did. Georgia, Mizzou, and Arkansas were, for all intents and purposes, must win games for State, as losses to any of them would've been greatly detrimental to the Bulldogs' tournament resume.

So how have those victories helped Mississippi State's tournament chances? Let's look at the updated bracketology...

Current Bracket Projections

ESPN: 10-seed, South Region

CBS Sports: 10-seed, Midwest Region

FOX Sports: 9-seed, Midwest Region

Andy Katz: 10-seed, West Region

USA Today: 10-seed, Midwest Region

On3: 9-seed, Midwest Region

Bleacher Report: Last Four In

Bracketometry: Last Four In

Bracketville: 10-seed, Midwest Region

Making the Madness: 10-seed, West Region

Bracketeer: 9-seed, Midwest Region

Heat Check CBB: 10-seed, West Region

JBR Bracketology: 9-seed

T3 Bracketology: 10-seed

Bracket Matrix Average: 10-seed

Takeaways

Slowly but surely, Mississippi State basketball continues to climb in the latest projected brackets. Besides Bleacher Report and Bracketometry, which remain a bit more skeptical of MSU's resume, most bracketologists have the Bulldogs above the "Last Four In" with most having them above the "Last Four Byes".

State's last three wins have been more about resume protection as opposed to resume improvement. They've accomplished the most necessary feat in avoiding taking a damaging bad loss. But the wins still count for something. Easily beating UGA and Mizzou helped their metrics, and Mizzou was State's first road win of the season. It also helps that the non-conference wins over Washington State and Northwestern continue to look better with both of those teams currently projected to make the tournament.

And in the meantime, other bubble teams haven't handled business in same manner as Mississippi State. That allows for State to rise without adding quality wins. Because of this, MSU's path to the Big Dance has become fairly clear.

Six regular season games remain for the Bulldogs. All are against teams in Quads 1 or 2. Can MSU split those games and, amongst those, add one more road win for good measure? If they do, they're almost certainly a lock to reach March Madness. Mississippi State will begin this closing stretch to the season Wednesday night at the Hump when rival Ole Miss comes to town.