Mississippi State Basketball Hoping to Continue SEC Tournament run vs Auburn

Mississippi State basketball is in the SEC Tournament semifinals for the first time since 2010. Can they keep this run going against Auburn?

SEC Basketball Tournament - Quarterfinals
SEC Basketball Tournament - Quarterfinals / Andy Lyons/GettyImages

Mississippi State basketball (21-12) faces off with the Auburn Tigers (25-7) in the semifinals of the 2024 SEC Men's Basketball Tournament in Nashville. The Bulldogs are in the semifinals for the first time since 2010 after a dominant upset over the SEC regular season champion Tennessee Volunteers.

State's win over the Vols ended any questions about whether or not they'll return to the NCAA Tournament for the second-straight year. The Bulldogs will be dancing. But that doesn't mean they have nothing left to play for.

MSU now has a real chance to contend for the SEC tournament championship, which they have not won since 2009. But to do that, they'll have to get through an incredibly talented Auburn squad. Here's everything to know about the matchup...

Auburn Tigers basketball snapshot

Auburn basketball is dominant on both ends of the court. They are the only team in the country that is currently rated within the top-10 of both offensive and defensive efficiency per KenPom. The Tigers score 83.5 PPG on 47.3% shooting while allowing 68.5 PPG on just 38.8% shooting. They're good from three, rebound well, and get to the free throw line frequently.

Big man Johni Broome leads the way for Auburn with 16.3 PPG and 8.5 boards. Forward Jaylin Williams and guard Chad Baker-Mazara also average double-figures. Williams, Baker-Mazara, and guard Denver Jones are all better than 40% from deep.

What happened previously between Mississippi State basketball and Auburn?

Mississippi State basketball and Auburn split the season series 1-1, each winning at home. State won the first matchup 64-58 in late January while Auburn won the rematch 78-63 in early March. MSU's defense suffocated AU in Starkville, and their offense did just enough to grind out the win.

At Auburn, State got off to a horrific start in the first half. The Tigers had their way offensively, and the Bulldog offense was almost nonexistent. State showed better fight in the second half, but AU was ultimately too much for them.

NCAA Tournament implications

Finally, after weeks of being so close to finishing the deal, Mississippi State basketball is playing a game knowing that they're safely in the NCAA Tournament. Better late than never. The Bulldogs are locked in after emphatically beating Tennessee, especially with favorable results nationally on Friday. When it comes to March Madness, MSU is merely playing to improve their seeding at this point.

Mississippi State basketball vs Auburn TV Broadcast

12:00 pm CT on ESPN

Mississippi State basketball will look to stay hot vs Auburn

After a poor close to the regular season and then a rough start against LSU in the second round of the SEC Tournament, Mississippi State basketball is suddenly playing some of its very best ball of the season over the last three halves of game time.

That's a great thing heading into the NCAA Tournament, and the Bulldogs want to keep that momentum going against Auburn on Saturday. MSU has a chance to return to the SEC Championship Game for the first time since 2010 with a win. Even with a tournament berth secured, there's plenty to play for against the Tigers.