South Carolina (17-12, 9-7 SEC) vs. Mississippi State (19-10, 10-6)
Start time: 6:30 p.m.
TV: SEC Network
Radio: 107.5 The Game
Continuing the rollercoaster trend that has been their brand of basketball all season long, the Gamecocks followed up a clutch overtime win (and season sweep!) of Georgia with a dispiriting 90-86 loss to a middling Alabama team on the road. Despite playing without guard John Petty and falling into an early 12-point hole, the Tide rallied and managed to keep South Carolina at bay in a game USC really needed to keep its case for the NCAA Tournament bubble on solid footing. Keyshawn Bryant was the standout for Carolina in this one, putting up 22 points with 13 rebounds, and four others hit double-figure scoring: A.J. Lawson (17), Jermaine Couisnard (12), Jair Bolden (11) with another strong game off the bench, and Alanzo Frink (10).
What to watch for
The Gamecocks faced Mississippi State just a few weeks ago, coming away with a tough 79-76 loss that held a lot of implications for the SEC standings and possible NCAA Tournament positioning. South Carolina, having now lost three of its past four while MSU has won three of its past four, could really use this rematch to get back in the NCAA conversation — and to send out its seniors in style, of course. Hopefully Maik Kotsar, who had a quiet performance against Alabama, can channel his effort from the previous matchup against MSU, when he scored a team-high 24 points.