Mississippi State leaves for Portland, Ore., today, as do I. The No. 13-seeded Bulldogs open up the NCAA tournament Thursday against No. 4 seed Washington, but they wouldn’t have made it there without the play of Phil Turner. Or Jarvis Varnado, who was named first-team All-SEC by the Associated Press. Speaking of Varnado, here’s how Washington plans to deal with him. And here’s the blog of Seattle Times writer Bob Condotta, who also wrote about the matchup between State’s Dee Bost and Washington point guard Isaiah Thomas – both are freshmen.

The Lady Bulldogs are going dancing, too, you might have heard. They’ll be a No. 11 seed and will play No. 6 seed Texas at 11 a.m. Saturday (ESPN2) in Columbus, Ohio. That’s the same day the MSU men, if they win Thursday, would play against the Northern Iowa-Purdue winner.

One more thing: Today’s column from sports editor John L. Pitts. Enjoy, and Happy St. Patrick’s Day.


15 Responses to “Portland-bound”

  1. olemsufan Says:

    Godspeed to Mississippi State & all involved !

    copy & paste this link to see where Thomas & Bost matched up against each other a year ago. Bost team won & Bost had the better numbers.

    we can do this. go MSU DOGS!

  2. darkcooger Says:

    I loved this comment on the Seattle Times columnist’s blog:

    “omg, i watched the the MSU vs LSU/Tenn games. Brockman is going to TEAR VARNADO APART. Against LSU he would WALK back to get on offense to conserve his energy. There is NO WAY they will be able to match our speed for that long. Varnado will be battling inside with one of the toughest ‘big men’ which would wear anyone out. They have been out-rebounded by 6+ against teams that aren’t even that good at rebounding. He is going to get so tired that he will start fouling and then be a non-factor.”

    I HOPE the UW team feels the same way because if they do, JV will embarrass the hell out of them. This guy doesn’t seem to realize that those were the 3rd and 4th games in as many days, and he obviously didn’t see the JV hustle at the end of the Tennessee game.

    I also love all the people quoting pure stats and saying that State should be an easy win. I just hope the UW team has the same mentality, because it’ll make the game a lot easier.

    The UW team is good and it’s going to be a tough game for our Dawgs, but I’m confident they’re capable of winning. We here are all aware of how well our guys can play. We’ve seen them shoot lights-out and we’ve seen them defend to the point of contesting every single shot. The only reason they haven’t been completely dominant is that they haven’t been able to do both in the same game.

    Just imagine our Dawgs playing their best defense AND their best offense. If they can pull it all together for next year, the SEC better be ready because the Dawgs are likely to rock everyone’s socks off.

    Go Dawgs!

  3. BirdZ! Says:

    Note to Mr. Pitts: According to a SEC official last season, the refs start the clock with a small pack on their belts, and the clock automatically stops when they blow a whistle. There is a sensor inside of the whistle.

    The clock operator has nothing to do with starting and stopping the clock.

  4. ukrainedog Says:

    I thought when we were seeded that we got a tough draw, but WA is probably feeling the same. Just skimming some of the comments on the blogs from out West I’d say they could be in for quite a surprise in this dogfight!

  5. darkcooger Says:

    ukrainedog: No kidding. I still laugh every time I read the comment I quoted above. Think of the number of times Jarvis blocked a shot, State got the rebound, and he was already on the other end of the court for the dunk. He won’t be able to maintain speed? Ha.

    Looking forward to the game. Seems like it should be fun and if our guys pull off the (4th-in-a-row) upset, all the better.

  6. 662nate Says:

    BL…thanks for the blogs bro. I really dislike the west coast attitude. I’m right with you darkcooger, i hope these guys are looking to UCONN. The arrogance of these guys are amazing. You know i follow a good bit of sports…and i can honestly say that i havent heard really anything about is 6’7 “beast” for UW. I’m sure that he is good, but his name hasnt been on the top of any charts like JV’s has. Besides…JV just let everyone see what he can do with the SEC tourney. It was also quite amusing to read one comment about rebounds and guard play. The comment said something about, “our guards are gonna dump it off and he is gonna get dunked on by someone.” Eh hem….Picture of Scotty getting it sent back should be enough evidence that once again….WRONG! As far as rebounds, State has been competing well on the boards. This is a part of the game that has improved over the length of the season. I am completely confident that our boys (with a nothing to lose attitude) is gonna send UW packing. No one has givin us credit all season. Only Anthony on ESPN has givin us a chance to be an upset. GO Dogs!! Show’em how the Dirty South is represented!!!

  7. 662nate Says:

    “Penetrate penetrate penetrate. I like watching Thomas’ floaters in the paint. If he blocks 7 shots, and we make a good portion of the rest, that’s a lot better than settling for missed jump shots all afternoon.”

    This makes me smile. With this mentality JV will have a triple-double.

  8. darkcooger Says:

    I’m sure the UW team is good and like fans everywhere, theirs are proud. There’s nothing wrong with that. But they sure talk a lot of garbage. One person basically summed up his entire opinion of MSU on the Tennessee game, saying they shoot poorly and don’t make free throws.

    But that was one game, and it was far from State’s best. In fact, I’m not sure which game this year has been State’s best. But one thing has been consistently true: except for two times, they’ve played at or above the level of their opponents. All year.

    I have a lot of confidence in our guys. I mean, look at the exclaimed match-ups.

    Dee Bost has an outstanding assist-to-turnover ratio (152/100), versus Isaiah Thomas (83/87). He shoots better from the line (72.1% versus 68.6%), he shoots better from beyond the arc (34.2% versus 29.8%), he out rebounds (3.6 per game versus 3.1). The only place that Thomas edges out Dee is in scoring (11.1 per game versus 15.4 per game).

    Jarvis is one of the most consistent players I’ve seen, ever (his season- and conference-statistics are nearly identical). And versus Brockmon? Brockmon outscores Jarvis (14.9 per game to 13.1 per game), but Jarvis protects the ball better (58 turnovers versus 64), shoots better (55.1% versus 52.2%), and shoots better from the line (65.6% versus 64.9% – and Jarvis has been 74% since conference play started). Brockmon wins the rebound battle by 2 per game. Two.

    And then compare the teams straight-up. MSU scores 75 points per game, UW puts up 79. Four points is easily close enough to consider this a contest. Rebounds? We get 39, they get 41. Apparently Brockmon carries the difference. Shooting? We’re 43.5% from the field (36.3% from 3) and they’re 45.9% (34%). They turn the ball over 14.9 times a game. We turn it over 14.2. They average 19.5 fouls per game, while we commit 16.6. We shoot free throws 71% to their 69%.

    Anyway. I’m not trying to drag UW down. I don’t doubt for a minute that they’re a very good team. Looking at their stats just drove it home even more. But I want to be clear to OUR folks that we match them. Chins-up and cowbells out, Bulldogs!

    Worst case: Our Dawgs proved that MSU is still at the top level of SEC basketball even in a so-called “down” year. Best case: Stansbury finally gets over the Sweet 16 curse.

    Go Dawgs!

  9. bigdraws Says:

    The Adventures Of Tom Sawyer
    Mark Twain
    Chapter 1



    No answer.


    No answer.

    “What’s gone with that boy, I wonder? You TOM!”

    No answer.

    The old lady pulled her spectacles down and looked over them about the room; then she put them up and looked out under them. She seldom or never looked THROUGH them for so small a thing as a boy; they were her state pair, the pride of her heart, and were built for “style,” not service – she could have seen through a pair of stove-lids just as well. She looked perplexed for a moment, and then said, not fiercely, but still loud enough for the furniture to hear:

    “Well, I lay if I get hold of you I’ll – ”

    She did not finish, for by this time she was bending down and punching under the bed with the broom, and so she needed breath to punctuate the punches with. She resurrected nothing but the cat.

    “I never did see the beat of that boy!”

    She went to the open door and stood in it and looked out among the tomato vines and “jimpson” weeds that constituted the garden. No Tom. So she lifted up her voice at an angle calculated for distance and shouted:

    “Y-o-u-u TOM!”

    There was a slight noise behind her and she turned just in time to seize a small boy by the slack of his roundabout and arrest his flight.

    “There! I might ‘a’ thought of that closet. What you been doing in there?”


    “Nothing! Look at your hands. And look at your mouth. What IS that truck?”

    “I don’t know, aunt.”

    “Well, I know. It’s jam – that’s what it is. Forty times I’ve said if you didn’t let that jam alone I’d skin you. Hand me that switch.”

    The switch hovered in the air – the peril was desperate –

    “My! Look behind you, aunt!”

    The old lady whirled round, and snatched her skirts out of danger. The lad fled on the instant, scrambled up the high board-fence, and disappeared over it.

    His aunt Polly stood surprised a moment, and then broke into a gentle laugh.

    “Hang the boy, can’t I never learn anything? Ain’t he played me tricks enough like that for me to be looking out for him by this time? But old fools is the biggest fools there is. Can’t learn an old dog new tricks, as the saying is. But my goodness, he never plays them alike, two days, and how is a body to know what’s coming? He ‘pears to know just how long he can torment me before I get my dander up, and he knows if he can make out to put me off for a minute or make me laugh, it’s all down again and I can’t hit him a lick. I ain’t doing my duty by that boy, and that’s the Lord’s truth, goodness knows. Spare the rod and spile the child, as the Good Book says. I’m a laying up sin and suffering for us both, I know. He’s full of the Old Scratch, but laws-a-me! he’s my own dead sister’s boy, poor thing, and I ain’t got the heart to lash him, somehow. Every time I let him off, my conscience does hurt me so, and every time I hit him my old heart most breaks. Well-a-well, man that is born of woman is of few days and full of trouble, as the Scripture says, and I reckon it’s so. He’ll play hookey this evening, * and [* Southwestern for “afternoon”] I’ll just be obleeged to make him work, to-morrow, to punish him. It’s mighty hard to make him work Saturdays, when all the boys is having holiday, but he hates work more than he hates anything else, and I’ve GOT to do some of my duty by him, or I’ll be the ruination of the child.”

    Tom did play hookey, and he had a very good time. He got back home barely in season to help Jim, the small colored boy, saw next-day’s wood and split the kindlings before supper – at least he was there in time to tell his adventures to Jim while Jim did three-fourths of the work. Tom’s younger brother (or rather half-brother) Sid was already through with his part of the work (picking up chips), for he was a quiet boy, and had no adventurous, troublesome ways.

  10. 662nate Says:

    Thanks for the stats dc….i appreciate it. I hope the Dawgs perform as well as they have been. Joe on ESPN says that the SEC tourney and the travel to Portland will be too much for State to overcome…..wow. Ok. Whatever.

  11. imabulldog Says:

    All I know is that we need to all email bill plaschke from the LA times, that is on the “horn” everyday. He said we won’t make it pass the first round…wait for it, wait for it…and after the W, we can fill up his inbox 🙂

  12. 662nate Says:

    YEAH IMA…if you throw his email out there….i’ll send him some love after the fact.

  13. imabulldog Says:


  14. imabulldog Says:

    Jaw Williams on ESPN, just picked us to be the upset team in the 1st round over Washington

  15. rwriffe Says:

    Guys, me being a bulldog fan is going to make the comment I am about to make seem as though I’m being a so called homer but I think our boys can get to the sweet sixteen and then defeat uconn to get to the elite 8. From there it will most likely be memphis and that will be tough. This team has the potential to make a run like the final four team did in ’96. Now, we all know that they may very well be one and done but this team is capable and they are playing at a level they’ve not been able to achieve all year to this point until now and it’s coming at a good time. I am impressed with how they are starting to carry themselves. Not cocky but calm and collected. They know their roles and are playing them to a tee and playing as a team like we’ve not seen in a long time.

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