Where Might Mississippi State Basketball be Headed in the NCAA Tournament?

It's Selection Sunday, and Mississippi State basketball awaits their NCAA Tournament destination. Where could the Bulldogs be headed?

Mar 15, 2024; Nashville, TN, USA; Mississippi State Bulldogs forward Cameron Matthews (4) and guard
Mar 15, 2024; Nashville, TN, USA; Mississippi State Bulldogs forward Cameron Matthews (4) and guard / Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Cue up the March Madness theme song. It's Selection Sunday.

Mississippi State basketball just wrapped up a successful stint at the 2024 SEC Men's Basketball Tournament, advancing to the semifinals for the first time since 2010 before falling to Auburn. The Bulldogs entered Nashville with plenty of work left to do if they wanted to return to the NCAA Tournament, and they handled business.

Now MSU awaits its destination for the Big Dance. With the Bulldogs projected as a 9 or 10-seed by most bracketologists, where could they be headed? Hopefully it's a short trip for Mississippi State fans.

Let's look at some of the possibilities...

Memphis, Tennessee

What would easily be the most desired landing spot for Mississippi State basketball fans could be a likely destination. Memphis is the closest site to projected 1-seed Houston. Assuming the Cougars are a 1-seed, that's where they'll be headed. And if Mississippi State ends up as a 9-seed, they could find themselves making the short trip northwest.

Would the Selection Committee put a 9-seed at at site close to home and potentially put a 1-seed at a disadvantage from a crowd standpoint? It happened literally last year to, of all teams, Houston. The Cougars were sent to Birmingham and were paired up with 9-seed Auburn.

Hopefully it happens again this season.

Omaha, Nebraska

Mississippi State and Omaha go together like peanut butter and jelly. It's a beloved destination by the Bulldog faithful except usually, they're traveling there for baseball. But who says State fans can't take over the town for hoops?

Projected 2-seed Iowa State is most likely on their way to Omaha, so if State ends up as a 10-seed, that's a potential landing spot. I have to imagine that if the Bulldogs were sent to Omaha, MSU fans would show out. It's been three years since baseball last made the College World Series, and realistically, the Diamond Dawgs probably won't return this year (there's still hope!).

If State fans want their Omaha fix, this might be their best chance.

Charlotte, North Carolina

If State can't land a short trip to Memphis or a beloved-destination in Omaha, this is probably the next best scenario. Charlotte is the next closest tournament site after Memphis, and with it being in the South, it's more feasible that a large MSU contingent would show up.

North Carolina could find themselves as either a 1 or 2-seed today. In either case, the Tarheels are all but locked in to playing their opening round games in their home state. Whether Mississippi State ends up as a 9 or 10-seed, they could be paired with UNC in the bracket and head to the Tarheel State.

Other potential destinations for Mississippi State basketball

There's three other landing spots that could be likely for Mississippi State basketball: Brooklyn, Indianapolis, and Salt Lake City. 1-seeds UConn and Purdue are locks to play in Brooklyn and Indy, respectively. If MSU is a 9-seed, they could end up in either location.

Likely 2-seeds Marquette and Arizona are probably headed for Indy and Salt Lake City, respectively. So if the Bulldogs are a 10-seed, they could find themselves there. Pittsburgh and Spokane are the lone tournament sites that I would deem as highly unlikely for Mississippi State (so naturally, that's where they'll end up...)

Of these options, Indianapolis is probably the most preferred, followed by Salt Lake City and Brooklyn in that order. Indy isn't an unreasonable trip for State fans, and with Salt Lake City, you're at least paired with a 2-seed. Being paired with UConn in Brooklyn does not sound like a great time (I'm also working under the assumption that most MSU fans would rather head west than to the Northeast...).

Hopefully though, State ends up at site that's closer to home. We'll know for sure later tonight. There's a wide-array of options for Mississippi State basketball, but the most important thing is that they're tournament bound.