MSU-Tennessee: Official Championship Game Thread

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For the first time since 2002, Mississippi State will try to win the SEC Tournament title. The Bulldogs (22-12) and Tennessee (21-11) can be seen on CBS, with Verne Lundquist and Bill “And the Kiss!” Raftery on the call. Should State win, the coaches and players will stick around St. Pete Times Forum for the NCAA selection show (5 p.m. Central, CBS). Otherwise, it’s go home and see where they land in the NIT. A fine season no matter what happens.

MSU football coach Dan Mullen is in the house. He’ll watch State try to avenge an 81-76 loss to the Volunteers on Feb. 25, and also try to be the first Western Division team since its last title to win the SEC tourney. Of greater importance is earning that automatic NCAA tournament bid, which appears to be the only way the Bulldogs will get to go dancing.

I expect a close game, but here is a stat to consider: In its 94-85 win over Auburn yesterday, UT shot 57.6 percent from the floor. In its 67-57 win over LSU, MSU hit just 33.3 percent of its shots. But the Tigers are second in the SEC in scoring defense, while the Vols are 11th.

OK, to the basics:

TV: CBS.
XM: Channel 199.
Series: Tennessee leads 74-38.
Last meeting: Tennessee, 81-76 on Feb. 25 in Knoxville.
Coaches: MSU – Rick Stansbury (230-127, 11th year); Tennessee – Bruce Pearl (415-119, 17th year; 98-35, fourth year at Tennessee).
Notes: Tennessee is the Eastern Division No. 1 seed; MSU is the West No. 3. … Last time these teams met in the SEC Tournament was 1999, with MSU winning 62-56 in the second round. … UT’s Pearl has led his teams to seven straight 20-win seasons. … MSU’s Jarvis Varnado has 13 blocks over his last two games.

Probable starters
Mississippi State (22-12, 12-7 SEC)

C – Jarvis Varnado    6-9    Jr.    13.1
G – Phil Turner    6-3    So.    8.4
G – Dee Bost    6-2    Fr.    11.2
G – Barry Stewart    6-3    Jr.    12.4
G – Ravern Johnson    6-7    So.    12.2
Top reserves: F Kodi Augustus, G Twany Beckham, F Brian Johnson.

Tennessee (21-11, 12-6 SEC)
C – Wayne Chism    6-9    Jr.    13.8 ppg
F – Tyler Smith    6-7    Jr.    17.4 ppg
G – J.P. Prince    6-7    Jr.    10.0 ppg
G – Scotty Hopson    6-7    Fr.    9.3 ppg
G – Bobby Maze    6-2    Jr.    8.5 ppg
Top reserves: G Josh Tabb, G Cameron Tatum, C Brian Williams.

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139 Responses to “MSU-Tennessee: Official Championship Game Thread”

  1. dadawg Says:

    Are the refs completely blind? TN strategy was to take JV out of the game.

  2. farley662 Says:

    That wasn’t even a hard hit. Not like someone went after his knee or something.

  3. Brad Locke Says:

    Scary moment there with Varnado going down, but he seems OK. Tennessee leads 16-13 with 11:59 to go in the first half.

  4. thespear Says:

    not a hard hit, but play should be stopped as soon as a player goes down. poor job by the zebras

  5. farley662 Says:

    They are gonna stop a fast break? Sure, why not.

  6. chrisfromcorinth Says:

    Kodi Augustus reminds me of Winsome Frazier. Seems to always forget to brush his hair before the game. Hopefully he plays with the heart of Winsome today

  7. thespear Says:

    he was hunched over for our whole possesion

  8. farley662 Says:

    Now that was a bad call.

  9. dadawg Says:

    It doesn’t take a hard to nuts to put you down…

  10. farley662 Says:

    Jarvis has has nuts on his chest? Thats where the Tivo says he got hit.

  11. chrisfromcorinth Says:

    We’re in it and Swat hasn’t even shown up on the offensive end yet. But, they have got to get him some touches.

  12. thespear Says:

    we look alright on the defensive end, gotta get in a rhythm on offense

  13. Brad Locke Says:

    Got 3:25 left in the half, UT up 30-27, tied for its largest margin today. Been a tight one. MSU is shooting 36.4 percent from the field, 25.0 percent (3 of 12) from 3-point range. UT is shooting 36.7 percent and 22.2 percent (2 of 9).

  14. Brad Locke Says:

    UT doing a good job keeping Varnado away from the basket, making him receive it high.

  15. dadawg Says:

    UT is doing such a good job they have pushed him all the way to the bench…?

  16. dadawg Says:

    Come on DAWGS we can do this thing.

  17. Brad Locke Says:

    Some halftime numbers, first for State:
    • FGs: 42.3% (11 of 26)
    • 3-pt: 23.1% (3 of 13)
    • 18 rebounds
    • 9 turnovers
    • Scorers: Johnson 8, Stewart 8, Bost 5, Augustus 5

    For UT:
    • FGs: 36.1% (13 of 36)
    • 3-pt: 27.3% (3 of 11)
    • 24 rebounds
    • 7 turnovers
    • Scorers: Chism 12, Prince 8, Smith 5

  18. Brad Locke Says:

    Varnado sat the final 5:46 of the half with 2 fouls. He has 4 points, 0 rebounds.

  19. thespear Says:

    play our game second half, JV has to get in there and establish himself and that will open up everyone else’s shots as well!!!!

    This game is ours! Go DAWGS

  20. kstorey395 Says:

    I sure hope we win, but I honestly belive we are in even if we should lose.

    This is my theory: The selection committe is only taking three teams from the SEC. I believe LSU and Tennessee were in before the conference tournament began, so that left one spot open between Auburn, Florida, and South Carolina. I think we took that third spot by advancing further than all of them. Anybody else agree?

    Brad…how’s the weather in St. Pete? Ripley High School is playing in Florida for the next three days on a baseball trip. I asked my GM about going to Florida to cover them….he didn’t respond. 🙂

  21. kstorey395 Says:

    We are playing with a lot of heart…they have us in every stat except for FG percentage.

  22. kstorey395 Says:

    This first five minutes could be crucial….

  23. kstorey395 Says:

    How many loose balls are we going to lose out of bounds?

    Poo-Poo on the Wayne Chism foul that was called on JV!

  24. dadawg Says:

    WTH kind of call was that?

  25. ericintupelo Says:

    The refs and announcers are biased!!! Atleast 2 or 3 balls have been out on Tenn and they have called it out on State. The last foul call on JV was obviously a foul by Chism. Makes me sick watching it

  26. kstorey395 Says:

    We look like the better team…and we have from the opening tip!

  27. kstorey395 Says:

    Why is Osby trying to make spin moves at the top of the key? Settle down Dawgs!

  28. buzzardroostus Says:

    Another bad call. This timeout is huge. Come on Coach. Settle ’em down.

  29. Brad Locke Says:

    With 11:48 left, MSU leads 46-44. Stewart’s the lone Bulldog in double digits with 10 points.

  30. Brad Locke Says:

    Weather is fantastic, Kedrick. Fantastic.

  31. Brad Locke Says:

    Freakin’ cold in this arena, tho.

  32. buzzardroostus Says:

    You can tell Osby looks uncomfortable under this pressure.

  33. dadawg Says:

    Come on JV gut it out…

  34. kstorey395 Says:

    JV said…get that stuff out of here!!! with the left hand!

  35. buzzardroostus Says:

    What a huge sequence. Getting great defense and finally coming down with a rebound.

  36. ericintupelo Says:

    SWAT

  37. kstorey395 Says:

    Weather will get even better with a Bulldog win.

  38. buzzardroostus Says:

    Varnado wants it!!

  39. kstorey395 Says:

    If JV is not the MVP of this tournament, I don’t know what a MVP is.

  40. ericintupelo Says:

    why is it there ball

  41. kstorey395 Says:

    A three-point shootout is in our favor…Tennessee can’t shoot the three!

  42. buzzardroostus Says:

    RIDICULOUS CALLL

  43. Brad Locke Says:

    MSU still cold from downtown, 5 of 24. UT’s 6 of 22, and the Vols lead 52-50 with 6:55 to go. State’s last field goal came at 11:18.

  44. thespear Says:

    i wish they would learn what an offensive foul is. stans has done a good job workin the refs and got us some good calls on our end

  45. dadawg Says:

    Dee is still got gas….

  46. Brad Locke Says:

    Huge kickout for Ravern’s first 3-pointer, and Varnado is gettin’ after it. 55-52 MSU, 3:33 to go.

  47. dadawg Says:

    WE CAN DO THIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  48. benzadawgfan Says:

    JV is da man! I’m sure he’s exhausted bangin’ with all of those bigger guys four straight days, but he’s letting his heart carry him through.

  49. buzzardroostus Says:

    RE-FREAKIN-BOUND

  50. dadawg Says:

    Come on DAWGS…Phi T is amazing.

  51. buzzardroostus Says:

    Varnado may be the MVP of this game, but TURNER is the MVP of our team for the season.

  52. dadawg Says:

    Give ’em some Red Bull…….

  53. kstorey395 Says:

    LET’S GO DAWGS!!!

  54. Brad Locke Says:

    Phil Turner with an ice-cold 3-pointer, then two free throws, and MSU is up 61-57 with 1:15 to go. MSU took a timeout.

  55. kstorey395 Says:

    If only some of the previous State teams had the heart these guys have.

  56. buzzardroostus Says:

    By the way:
    Diamond Dawgs 10-3 over the Gamecocks in the bottom of the 9th

  57. buzzardroostus Says:

    Excuse me, bottom of the 8th

  58. dadawg Says:

    These guys are playing their hearts out…..GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
    DAWGSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  59. kstorey395 Says:

    Damn! Chism!

  60. buzzardroostus Says:

    we need a basket

  61. dadawg Says:

    Go BS!

  62. kstorey395 Says:

    Oh thank you, karma!

  63. benzadawgfan Says:

    hit the free ones and no to’s

  64. ukrainedog Says:

    A hard game to follow on livestats…the suspense is killing me.

  65. ericintupelo Says:

    I want to throw up. Been a state fan too long and my heart can’t take this

  66. dadawg Says:

    State up by two with 12.4 seconds. UT ball.

  67. Brad Locke Says:

    Your 12.4 away from dancing, Bulldog fans. Just need one more stop.

  68. buzzardroostus Says:

    We need a big defensive stop. No open 3’s

  69. kstorey395 Says:

    This is killing me!!!!

  70. buzzardroostus Says:

    YEEEESSSSS

  71. buzzardroostus Says:

    OH NO, What the….

  72. ericintupelo Says:

    Refs, refs, refs

  73. kstorey395 Says:

    What!!! That’s a Walk!!! Dam, karma!

  74. buzzardroostus Says:

    He walked before he was fouled

  75. buzzardroostus Says:

    RE-RFREAKIN-BOUND

  76. kstorey395 Says:

    Miss it!

  77. buzzardroostus Says:

    WE’RE FIGHTING OVER THE BALL

  78. dadawg Says:

    Worst called game I have ever seen……

  79. kstorey395 Says:

    Can I get a over the back call!

  80. benzadawgfan Says:

    Zebras blew it!!!!!!!!!

  81. kstorey395 Says:

    5 Seconds!!!!

  82. buzzardroostus Says:

    WOOOWWWWWW

  83. buzzardroostus Says:

    we deserve that call

  84. dadawg Says:

    Our ball……………………..

  85. Brad Locke Says:

    Huge 5-second call there after the controversial no-walk/foul call.

  86. kstorey395 Says:

    As someone just said…HOLY COW!!!

  87. darkcooger Says:

    HOLY CRAP, WHAT A GAME!

  88. buzzardroostus Says:

    protect the ball

  89. kstorey395 Says:

    Brad..could this win be bigger than the 2002 win?

  90. dadawg Says:

    What a game….we deserve to be in the dance…no matter what.

  91. buzzardroostus Says:

    Hold on Storey, it’s not a win yet.

  92. buzzardroostus Says:

    he got pushed out of bounds

  93. ericintupelo Says:

    Where is the call?

  94. dadawg Says:

    This is the worst called game I have ever seen……….

  95. buzzardroostus Says:

    JUSTICE

  96. dadawg Says:

    Zebras have lost their crap………………..

  97. kstorey395 Says:

    This is absolutly killing me!!!

  98. dadawg Says:

    Phil T…………………………………………….

  99. buzzardroostus Says:

    Big free throw shots

  100. kstorey395 Says:

    PHIL! PHIL! PHIL!

  101. darkcooger Says:

    The last four seconds of the game have lasted how long? About 10 minutes? WOW.

  102. ericintupelo Says:

    Still need a stop

  103. ericintupelo Says:

    ChAMPS

  104. buzzardroostus Says:

    March Madnesss baby

  105. ericintupelo Says:

    kARMA KARMA

  106. darkcooger Says:

    LET’S GO DANCING, BOYS!

  107. dadawg Says:

    MSU SEC CHAMPS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!11

  108. kstorey395 Says:

    YEAAAAA!!!!!

  109. Brad Locke Says:

    Welcome back to the Dance, Bulldogs. 64-61 in a heck of a ballgame. Tatum’s 3-ball at the end was off, Turner got the board and was swarmed by teammates.

  110. buzzardroostus Says:

    I hope Maryland doesn’t get in the tourny now!

  111. thespear Says:

    SEC CHAMPS

    GREAT GAME LETS DANCE BOYS

  112. dadawg Says:

    Phil Turner, I love you baby………………………

  113. kstorey395 Says:

    I DON’T BELIVE WHAT I JUST SAW!!! LEFT FOR DEAD THREE WEEKS AGAO…WE ARE SEC TOURNAMENT CHAMPS!!!

  114. ukrainedog Says:

    Awesome, the most stressful game I’ve ever watched (via livestats), was probably just as bad watching it live on tv!

  115. rwriffe Says:

    thats what i’m talking about. For now i love living in tennessee. Especially at work tomorrow.

  116. ericintupelo Says:

    Ukraine it was nerve racking dude. My kids think its the funniest thing when their daddy is running around jumping up and down and yelling at the tv excited. They kept saying do it again daddy do it again.

  117. darkcooger Says:

    Aw man, what a great showing by our Bulldogs in this tournament. Not only are we the ONLY team to beat a higher seed, but we did it THREE TIMES!

    Way to go, Dawgs!

  118. dadawg Says:

    These guys played as hard as any MSU DAWGS that I have ever seen. Whatta game, whatta team. Fought it all the way!!!

  119. kstorey395 Says:

    This win ranks high in MSU history.

  120. benzadawgfan Says:

    Another SEC Championship! We even won it without having our 3 balls fallin’ !!! If we can get that back, we can really make some noise in the dance!!!!! GO DAWGS!!!!!

  121. ericintupelo Says:

    We fought and clawed our way and EARNED it because of the way we played. Gotta give love to our bench. Without them giving our boys much needed rest we couldn’t have made it. Augustus is living up to his potential and the rest is playing well.

  122. Brad Locke Says:

    Stewart, Varnado all-tourney. Varnado tourney MVP. Trophy time.

  123. kstorey395 Says:

    Maybe the best?

  124. coachsmith Says:

    Yes Yes!!!! Stan is the man!!

  125. ripleyreb Says:

    Congratulations Bulldogs. Good luck in the Big Dance. Make Mississippi proud.

  126. kstorey395 Says:

    Besides the win to get to the final 4.

  127. rwriffe Says:

    We get absolutely no respect. CBS didn’t even bother to interview Stansbury or players and had 10 minutes before the purdue ohio state game. Shameful

  128. ericintupelo Says:

    We will be a tough match for anyone. I figure we are a 9-12 Seed which will be tough but these Dawgs have heart and lots of it

  129. thespear Says:

    Turner hustle and defense was so crucial, plus his huge 3.

    Im proud of all our DAWGS

    GO STATE!!!!!!!!!

  130. bleedmaroon Says:

    Great win!!! Great game!! Go Dawgs!!! Let’s dance!

  131. olemsufan Says:

    Phil Turner was everywhere doing everything right. he has matured so much. WOW is all i can say about this Tourney & this TEAM.
    hope we get a good draw & make some noise. need to get that sweet 16 monkey off Stans back. he’s a good Coach. go DOGS!

    If everyone comes back that can then next season should be great.

  132. thingreenline Says:

    Great follow-up to a suprising tournament.

    I was the only person in Fargo that gave a crap about this game.

  133. rwriffe Says:

    I hear you thin. I think I am the only one in Tennesse happy about this game.

  134. dadawg Says:

    CBS just said that someone else would be in the dance if TN could run an out of bounds play….WTH
    They have finally shown some MSU after game glow…

  135. imabulldog Says:

    SCREW CBS, JOE LUNARDI, SETH DAVIS, BRYANT GUMBLE!!!

    They’d rather plead the case for some D2 team or pip squeak like St. Mary’s…SHUT UP.

    We deserve respect.

    Me too rwriffe, heck msurwl and DawgX as well 🙂

  136. leeearl Says:

    IMA, tell it like it is, brotha!!!

  137. leeearl Says:

    First of all, I just wanted to apologize for lying…..I said I would DVR the game and then watch it due to superstition….Well, I watched it, I couldn’t stand it, at any rate the sockless trainer came through…

    CONGRATS BULLDOGS, special thanks for Mr. Rick Stansbury for taking our team to yet another 20+ win season and yet another NCAA trip!!!!

    Thanks to BL for keeping the BLOG real, can’t wait to watch Selection Sunday show….at this point in time I am dancing around my house with a beer in both hands….Go State!!!!

  138. rwriffe Says:

    since i don’t drink (not being judgemental) drink one for me Leeearl.

  139. leeearl Says:

    I am dancing around my house with a root beer in both hands….Go State!!!!

    I apologize…fixed for rwriffe :o)

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