Mississippi State, Alcorn State earn NIT berths

Published 9:30 pm Sunday, March 13, 2022

Mississippi State and Alcorn State had their NCAA Tournament hopes dashed this weekend, but their seasons are far from over.

Both Magnolia State teams were selected to play in the NIT, the 32-team consolation tournament.

Alcorn State will face No. 1 seed Texas A&M on Tuesday, while Mississippi State will face Virginia on Wednesday night.

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Mississippi State is the No. 3 seed in the Bottom Left Bracket of the tournament, but will go on the road for its first game because a renovation project at Humphrey Coliseum is scheduled to begin this week.

The Bulldogs (18-15) and Cavaliers (19-13) will play Wednesday at 6 p.m. on ESPN2. The winner will face either North Texas or Texas State in the second round on March 19 or 20.

Mississippi State is making its third NIT appearance in five seasons. It reached the semifinals in 2018 and lost to Memphis in the championship game in 2021.

Alcorn State, meanwhile, earned its spot in the NIT by winning the Southwestern Athletic Conference regular-season championship. The Braves lost 87-62 to Texas Southern in the SWAC Tournament championship game on Saturday.

Alcorn’s last appearance in the NIT was in 1985, when it lost in the first round to Louisville. In 1979 the Braves beat Mississippi State in the first round and then lost to Indiana in their next game.

Alcorn (17-16) will go on the road to play Texas A&M (23-12) Tuesday at 8 p.m. on ESPN2.

Texas A&M knocked top-25 opponents Auburn and Arkansas before losing 65-50 to No. 9 Tennessee in the Southeastern Conference Tournament championship game on Sunday. The loss snapped a seven-game winning streak for the Aggies, who were among the first four teams left out of the 68-team field for the NCAA Tournament.

Texas A&M is making its first NIT appearance since 2015, and eighth overall. Its last postseason trip was to the 2018 NCAA Tournament.

About Ernest Bowker

Ernest Bowker is The Vicksburg Post's sports editor. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post's sports staff since 1998, making him one of the longest-tenured reporters in the paper's 139-year history. The New Jersey native is a graduate of LSU. In his career, he has won more than 50 awards from the Mississippi Press Association and Associated Press for his coverage of local sports in Vicksburg.

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