NEW ORLEANS, La. - Now the wait begins.
Mississippi State will spend the weekend waiting to see if it receives an at-large bid to this year's NCAA Tournament. The Basketball Bulldogs find themselves in this precarious position after being upset 71-61 by the Georgia in an opening-round game of the Southeastern Conference Tournament Thursday night at New Orleans Arena.
Georgia now owns six wins against conference opponents this season; however, two of those wins came at the expense of MSU. After a shocking 70-68 overtime loss to Georgia in Starkville, MSU came out on the short end again Thursday night, as the east coast Bulldogs expanded a two-point halftime lead to as many as 13 points in the game's final 20 minutes.
Georgia (15-16), the 11th seed in this year's tournament, will now face third-seeded Vanderbilt (21-10) at 9 p.m. Friday night in the tournament quarterfinals. MSU (21-11), the sixth seed, will now await a decision by the NCAA selection committee late Sunday to determine its postseason fate.
MSU last made the NCAA Tournament in 2009. Thursday's loss meant MSU dropped its opening game in the conference tournament for a second straight season.
For MSU, Jalen Steele led MSU with 19 points, while Brian Bryant added 11 points and Dee Bost added 10 points.