WATCH: Mississippi State Basketball Reacts to NCAA Tournament Selection

Mississippi State basketball is back in the NCAA Tournament! What did the scene look like in Starkville when the team was selected?

Feb 21, 2024; Starkville, Mississippi, USA; Mississippi State Bulldogs head coach Chris Jans (left)
Feb 21, 2024; Starkville, Mississippi, USA; Mississippi State Bulldogs head coach Chris Jans (left) / Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports

Mississippi State basketball is back in the NCAA Tournament. For the second-straight year, Chris Jans and the Bulldogs will go dancing. After going four years between trips from 2019-2023 and a decade between appearances from 2009-2019, State will make back-to-back NCAA Tournaments for the first time since 2008 and 2009.

It's a fun time for Bulldog basketball, but going into the SEC Tournament there was no guarantee Mississippi State would return to March Madness. A four-game losing streak to close out the regular season put their NCAA Tournament hopes in serious jeopardy, and they went to Nashville with plenty of work to do.

MSU rose to the occasion, reaching the SEC semifinals for the first time since 2010 with an emphatic upset over SEC regular season champion Tennessee. And though they fell to Auburn in their next game, the Bulldogs did exactly what they needed to in Nashville: play their way safely into the NCAA Tournament.

Mississippi State basketball went into Selection Sunday fully anticipating to hear their names called on the selection show. The team congregated at Two Brother's Smoked Meats in Starkville's "Cotton District" to learn their postseason fates.

CBS made the Bulldogs wait to hear their names called. The West Region was the final quadrant of the bracket announced, and after getting through three regions without seeing "Mississippi State" roll across the screen, even the most confident Bulldogs had to start feeling somewhat nervous that they'd be left out.

But the wait made the final celebration that much more worth it...

Mississippi State basketball was selected as the 8-seed in the West Region. They'll head out to Charlotte to take on 9-seed Michigan State in a battle of "MSUs" on Thursday. But for now the Bulldogs can enjoy themselves knowing they're back in the Big Dance.

It's awesome to see the payoff of a hard-fought season for Mississippi State basketball. But of course the season isn't over yet. Now is when the real battle begins. We'll see if the Bulldogs can go on a run in March.