Not that Mississippi State is incredible or anything, but they’re hot right now and everyone needs a big upset in their bracket. Sure, they wouldn’t have made it into the tourney as an at-large bid, but they won the SEC Tournament by rattling off four straight victories, upsetting LSU and Tennessee in the process. Those SEC Tourney wins came on the heels of back-to-back W’s to end the regular season, against Ole Miss and Florida; that’s six straight victories, in case you’re keeping score at home. What does that mean? It means that people are going to be picking MSU to beat Washington in the first round, and their reasoning is justifiable.
Of course, you can’t overlook the fact that MSU will be traveling over 2000 miles away from home to play the Dawgs, or that the matchup in Portland will essentially be a UW home game, but how often does that stop anyone? Mississippi State will benefit from the “what have you done for me lately” mentality and garner a ton of attention over the next week. They may not have started the year off well, but they’re a streaky team and are currently on a hot streak (of their 23 total wins, 16 have come during three separate streaks of 5, 5, and 6 wins). Let the debate begin.