Where They Stand: The Bulldogs have collected three consecutive SEC victories, but still sit squarely on the bubble, because none of the three wins were over a quality team. The committee isn't going to reward them too much for winning games they should win
They should beat Auburn Wednesday, then finish the regular season with a hot Tennessee team. A win over the Vols would lock up a bid, but if they lose, they'll probably have to win a couple games in the SEC tournament to get in.
The Lowdown: The Bulldogs balanced attack is lead by senior power forward Jarvis Varnado. He averages 13.5 points per game, and is a tenacious rebounder, bringing in 10.5 boards per game. However, where he really shines is in blocking shots. His 4.9 blocks per game are second in the nation.
Junior swingman Ravern Johnson is the Bulldogs leading scorer at 13.8. He is a sniper who shoots the three well. Sophomore Dee Bost runs the point, dishing out 5.2 assists while adding 12.6 points per game. The Bulldogs other big, Junior Kodi Augustus, is a fine role player. He averages 9.1 point per game while pulling down 5.6 boards.
Guard Barry Stewart averages 11.5 points per game, and provides more senior leadership for the Bulldogs. Mississippi State also gets solid contributions off the bench from guard Phil Turner and forward Romero Osby.
Final Analysis: Mississippi State has the ability to play with most teams in the nation. Their season hasn't gone as well as they hoped it would, but they still have a chance to slide into the tournament and make a statement.
The ability of Varnado to block and alter shots in the paint can cause huge problems for any team who relies heavily on scoring down low. If the Bulldogs get a favorable matchup or two, they could make a nice run to the Sweet 16.