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Tennessee (16-11) at Mississippi State (13-14)



The Sports Network

DATE & TIME: Wednesday, February 26, 8 p.m. (ET)

FACTS & STATS: Site: Humphrey Coliseum (10,575) -- Starkville, Mississippi. Television: SEC Network. Home Record: UT 12-3, MSU 11-5. Away Record: UT 2-7, MSU 0-8. Neutral Record: UT 2-1, MSU 2-1. Conference Record: UT 7-7, MSU 3-11. Series Record: Tennessee leads, 77-41.

GAME NOTES: A pair of SEC teams trending in the wrong direction will meet up at Humphrey Coliseum on Wednesday night, as the Mississippi State Bulldogs play host to the Tennessee Volunteers.

Tennessee is on the brink of getting its NCAA Tournament bubble burst following losses in three of its last four games, most recently dropping an 68-65 overtime decision at Texas A&M on Saturday. The Vols are 16-11 overall this season and 7-7 in the SEC, but they have not fared well away from home at a mere 2-7.

The Vols' struggles don't come close to comparing to Mississippi State's, however, as it has dropped nine consecutive decisions to slip to 13-14 and tied for last place in the SEC at 3-11. The Bulldogs failed to take down Arkansas at home on Saturday, losing 73-69, and they have now dropped four straight at home after winning 11 of their first 12 in Starkville this season.

In regards to the all-time series, Tennessee holds a 77-41 advantage over Mississippi State, although the Bulldogs have a slim 27-26 advantage in Starkville.

The Vols erased an eight-point deficit with under four minutes left in regulation in their latest game and forced overtime in the waning seconds with a Jarnell Stokes dunk, but in the extra session they fell victim to a game- winning 3-pointer by Texas A&M with four seconds to go. They shot a modest 42.6 percent from the field while allowing A&M to make good on 47.3 percent of its tries, and they were also plagued by a game-high 14 turnovers. Jordan McRae posted a game-high 20 points, Stokes (16 points, 16 rebounds) and Jeronne Maymon (16, 13) both tallied double-doubles and Josh Richardson added 11 points to the well-rounded effort.

Tennessee is typically solid on both ends of the floor this season, shooting 44.5 percent from the field for 71.9 ppg, while allowing just 63.3 ppg on 42.1 percent shooting, and it also boasts one of the nation's best rebounding margins at +8.3. McRae leads the way with 19.3 ppg, having drained 64 3- pointers at a 38.3 percent clip. Stokes (14.4 ppg, 10.4 rpg) and Jeronne Maymon (10.5 ppg, 8.1 rpg) make up one of the nation's best frontcourt duos, with each shooting better than 51 percent from the field. Richardson brings 9.6 ppg to the table and has scored more than that in seven of the past eight games.

The Bulldogs fell behind by as many as 15 points with under seven minutes left in their most recent contest, and while they were able to cut that deficit to four in the final minute, time ran out on their comeback attempt. Although they shot a solid 44.1 percent from the field, they were a dreadful 10-of-21 from the free-throw line and committed a game-high 16 turnovers. Colin Borchert was on fire from 3-point range (5-of-6) en route to 21 points off the bench. Roquez Johnson tallied 11 points and nine rebounds, while Craig Sword and Trivante Bloodman netted 10 points apiece.

Unsurprisingly, Mississippi State ranks near the bottom of the SEC in both scoring offense (68.3 ppg) and scoring defense (70.6 ppg), and while its .444 field-goal percentage is respectable, it has been well below average from 3- point range (.307) and the foul line (.657). Sword is the top scoring threat with 13.5 ppg, while swiping nearly two steals per outing on the defensive end of the floor. Gavin Ware (10.4 ppg, 7.4 rpg) knocks down greater than 60 percent of his field-goal tries, while Borchert (9.4 ppg) and Johnson (9.3 rpg) have also been solid.

Although Tennessee hasn't played up to its abilities in recent weeks, it'll have a golden opportunity to get back on the winning track in this one against the floundering Bulldogs.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Tennessee 72, Mississippi State 66

02/26 10:39:13 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
UVA 27
UNC 28
Final
NCCU 42
SAVST 14
 
1st
SFG 0
KAN 0
 
Final
WISC 52
MD 7
Final
SMU 10
MEM 48
Final
ILL 28
MINN 24
Final
RICE 41
UNT 21
Final
NEB 42
RUTG 24
Final
KST 23
TEX 0
Final
ARK 45
UAB 17
Final
UVA 27
UNC 28
Final
EMICH 17
NILL 28
Final
NAVY 41
SJST 31
Final
BST 35
AKR 21
Final
GASTATE 31
GASO 69
Final
TOL 42
UMASS 35
Final
WMICH 42
OHIO 21
Final
COL 37
UCLA 40
Final
UMO 10
KSU 3
Final
WAKE 17
BC 23
Final
BUF 14
CMICH 20
 
Final
MARS 35
FATL 16
 
Final
PITT 28
GT 56
Final
SMISS 20
LATU 31
 
Final
MSU 35
MICH 11
 
Final
KENT 31
MSST 45
Final
STAN 38
ORST 14
 
Final
TCU 82
TTU 27
 
Final
OKST 10
WVU 34
 
Final
WKENT 66
ODU 51
 
Final
UTST 34
UNLV 20
 
Final
MIZZ 24
VANDY 14
 
4th
UCF 34
TEMPL 14
 
3rd
WASU 16
ARZ 38
 
2nd
CLEM 3
SYR 3
 
2nd
LAMON 13
TXST 0
 
2nd
TXSANANTO 0
UTEP 17
 
2nd
COLST 24
WYO 3
 
2nd
LSU 0
MISS 7
 
1st
TENN 0
ALA 13
 
2nd
AUB 7
SCAR 7
 
1st
PSU 0
OSU 0
 
10:00pm Tonight
UTAH
USC
10:45pm Tonight
WASH
ARST
11:59pm Tonight
HAW
NEV
Final
SJS 1
BUF 2
2nd
TOR 0
BOS 1
 
2nd
NYI 3
DAL 2
 
2nd
PHI 0
DET 1
 
2nd
OTT 0
NJD 0
 
1st Intermission
MON 1
NYR 1
 
1st
STL 0
CHI 1
 
1st
NAS 0
PIT 0
 
1st
MIN 0
TAM 0
 
9:00pm Tonight
ARI
FLA
10:00pm Tonight
CAL
WAS
Final
NCCU 42
SAVST 14