Mississippi State has signed to play in the Corpus Christi Coastal Classic for the Thanksgiving weekend. The two-day event includes Texas Christian University as the ‘home’ state squad, along with St. Louis and Bradley. Ray’s Bulldogs have drawn the Bilikens in the Friday game while TCU takes on Bradley. Saturday will have consolation and championship games.
The Classic is being held in the American Bank Center in Corpus Christi.
”I’m excited to be a part of this tournament,” said Ray. “This gives us an opportunity to prepare for SEC competition. St. Louis had an RPI of 27 last season and has been to the NCAA tournament for three-straight years. Our players look forward to playing this competition.”
The CCCC announcement fulfills Ray’s June prediction that the Bulldogs would be participating in an ‘exempt’ tournament. At that time he also said Mississippi State was waiting for one final contract to round-out the non-conference schedule. Since then a series has been settled with Tulane, a home-and-home set that begins with a road game for the Bulldogs.
State will be visiting New Orleans the week after Thanksgiving for a December 6 matchup with the Green Wave, which is joining the American Athletic Conference. Ray lauded this arrangement for offering Bulldog fans from the Mississippi Gulf Coast as well as New Orleans area a shorter trip for a State game. The last time a Bulldog squad played Tulane in the crescent city was all the way back in 2003 at the Sugar Bowl Classic. Though, there have been 93 total meetings of the two schools who once shared SEC membership. The teams will complete the series next season in Humphrey Coliseum.
With other games contracted and announced against Florida State and at Oregon State, the completed 2014 portion of Ray’s third season schedule at State is due to be released this week. The SEC schedule though will have to wait for August, per Media Relations.