The Mississippi State Bulldogs were not expected to make it to the 2014 NCAA Tournament before the season began; the Bulldogs weren’t even expected to be a top half team in the SEC. However, a win over the Auburn Tigers brings their record to 13-5 and means that their tournament chances, although slim, could still be more than just a dream.
Auburn’s KT Harrell had 24 points, but the worst game of the season so far from Chris Denson helped Mississippi State hold onto the win. Fred Thomas stepped up with 14 points, Colin Borchert had 17 points, Roquez Johnson had 18 points, and Craig Sword had eight rebounds en route to the 82-74 point win. It was assumed that Gavin Ware, Sword and Thomas would be talented this season and cause a lot of trouble in conference play, but the surprise success of Johnson and Borchert has led to the Bulldogs’ great start to the season.
Mississippi State still has a ton of work to do if they are to surprisingly make it to the 2014 NCAA Tournament or even the NIT, but winning games that they are supposed to win like the one against Auburn is a start. If the Bulldogs can get some crucial road wins against upcoming opposition like the Texas A&M Aggies, Ole Miss Rebels and Missouri Tigers, it will boost their tournament chances even further.
However, if Mississippi State is to pull off the miracle run into March Madness, they’re going to have to win a game against either the Kentucky Wildcats or the Florida Gators. The Bulldogs are talented, but have yet to prove just how talented they are against top opposition.