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Men’s Basketball Preview: South Carolina vs. Mississippi State

Last time hitting the road

Syndication: The Knoxville News-Sentinel Brianna Paciorka/News Sentinel / USA TODAY NETWORK

South Carolina vs. Mississippi State
Date: Tuesday, February 28th
Time: 9:00 PM
Channel: SECN
Where: Humphrey Coliseum - Starkville, MS

South Carolina is looking to pick up a win in their final road matchup of the regular season against the Mississippi State Bulldogs. The Bulldogs hold a 19-10 record, and are currently ranked 39th in KenPom’s latest advanced metric rankings.

Mississippi State has been a very on and off team this season. The Bulldogs have some impressive wins under their belt against Marquette, Arkansas, and Missouri. However, the Bulldogs have also taken some questionable losses to Drake and Georgia. At 7-9, conference play has been the kryptonite for the Bulldogs this season. Contrary to that, when they put it all together, the Bulldogs are a very tough team to beat.

The last time these two teams met up, it was Shakeel Moore who led the Bulldogs to a 66-51 victory. Moore posted 22 points while shooting 9-11 from the field. The Gamecocks can’t let Moore catch fire like that or it isn’t going to end very well. Moore is also quite the pest on defense, swiping almost two steals per game.

Tolu Smith will be a key player for Mississippi State as well. Smith is leading the team in scoring with 15 points per game as well as dominating the boards for the Bulldogs, grabbing 8.3 rebounds a night. Smith had 18 points in the last meeting between these two squads, and is looking to have another efficient night against the Gamecocks.

Per usual, we have no idea what kind of night GG Jackson is going to have. Last game against Tennessee, Jackson shot 2-12 from the field and only put up 2 points. This just can’t happen out of a guy who we have seen is more than capable of putting up over 20 points per game. The quality of Jackson’s night will strongly dictate the outcome of this game.

Hayden Brown has been the most consistent player on the Gamecocks this season. You know you aren’t going to get a superstar performance out of Brown, but you are getting a consister 15 points a night with good defense. Better than all of that, Brown hustles and actually shows effort during games, unlike the vast majority of his teammates. Brown has been a tremendous leader for the team in desperate times of need, and that is what is going to be required for the Gamecocks to pick up a win tonight.

KenPom is giving the Gamecocks an 8% chance to pick up a win in their final road game of the season with a score prediction of South Carolina 53, Mississippi State 69

My Prediction: South Carolina 60, Mississippi State 69