2004-05 Basketball Schedule Finalized

It's taken weeks longer than usual and kept Bulldog fans waiting far longer than wanted, but Mississippi State has finally dotted every ‘i' and crossed every ‘t,' and released the 2004-05 men's basketball schedule.

The slate for Coach Rick Stansbury's team lists the standard 26 regular-season dates, but by playing in the Coaches Vs. Cancer Classic, an ‘exempt' tournament, could run to as many as 30 games before the conference and postseason tourney trips in March. In fact, it was the invitation to appear in the November Classic that played a part in delaying release of the entire schedule.

The Bulldogs were the last team added to the CvsC tourney. Unfortunately the NCAA's regulations on pre-sited events in states with politically incorrect symbols means State will ‘host' a four-team regional round in Birmingham, Ala., at the Jefferson Civic Center on Nov. 11-12 instead of in Humphrey Coliseum. But Stansbury's team will gladly make the short drive to start the season in a high-profile event. The Bulldogs will play NCAA regular Fairfield in the first round, with the winner taking on the survivor of Birmingham-Southern and Alabama A&M the next evening. The Nov. 11 date is the earliest official game ever for State hoops.

The four regional winners advance to the semifinals and championship rounds in New York's Madison Square Garden, Nov. 18-19, with all games televised on ESPN2.

Whether or not State gets to New York, this schedule already features a school-record number of television dates and includes not just regional telecasts on Jefferson-Pilot but Fox Sports, ESPN and ESPN2, and CBS. The regular-season finale in Humphrey Coliseum between SEC West arch-rivals State and Alabama will be shown on CBS. As of now 12 of MSU's 16 SEC games will be shown either regionally or nationally.

Most of State's slate has been reported prior to the official release, including the Dec. 5 appearance in the John Wooden Classic in Anaheim, Cal., against Arizona. That game will be shown on WGN, the Chicago-based cable outlet. The Dec. 18 game at Xavier, a rematch of last year's second-round NCAA tourney game and the wrap-up of a three-year contract between the schools, will be shown from Cincinnati on ESPN2. And as reported last spring, State returns to the Sugar Bowl Classic along with Louisiana State as SEC ‘host' schools for a third year. The Bulldogs take on Virginia Tech and the Tigers play Florida State in a SEC/ACC matchup. This year, though, the games move to the evening at the New Orleans Arena with State playing at 6:30.

And, Mississippi State returns to Jackson's Mississippi Coliseum after a one-year absence. The Bulldogs host Jacksonville State on Dec. 22 in the capitol city. This was one of the last games to have all contracts signed by all parties and returned, so the schedule could be released.

Also, for the first time in years there will be doubleheaders at Humphrey Coliseum as on two dates the Bulldogs will play after the Lady Bulldogs. On Nov. 23 Coach Sharon Fanning's team will host Baylor at 5:00, with the men playing Missouri-Kansas City at 7:30. Actually there will be a ‘tripleheader' on Dec. 20, as the 7:30 men's game with Florida A&M will follow the concluding round of the Mississippi State Classic women's tournament, with consolation and championship rounds earlier in the day.

These multiple-games are possible because the dates fall within University breaks for the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. So, fans who do not have season tickets for the men's games can buy general admission tickets for the women's game(s), in the student seating areas, and remain in The Hump for the nightcap.

2004-05 MSU BASKETBALL SCHEDULE

11/6 UNIVERSIDAD PANAMERICANA (Exh.), TBA

11/11 Fairfield (at Birmingham, Ala.), 8:00

11/12 Birmingham-Southern/Alabama A&M, 6/8:00

11/18 Coaches vs. Cancer Semifinals (ESPN2) 7/9:00ET

11/19 Coaches vs. Cancer Finals (ESPN2), 7/9:00ET

11/21 NICHOLLS STATE, 2:00

11/23 MISSOURI-KANSAS CITY, 7:30

12/2 SOUTH ALABAMA (FSN/SUN), 7:00

12/5 Arizona (WGN, at Anaheim, Calif.), 1:30PT

12/11 ARKANSAS-LITTLE ROCK, 7:00

12/13 at New Orleans, 7:00

12/18 at Xavier (ESPN2), 8:00ET

12/20 FLORIDA A&M, 7:30

12/22 Jacksonville State (at Jackson, Miss.), 7:00

12/30 Virginia Tech (FSN/SUN, at New Orleans, La.), 6:30

1/5 AUBURN 7:00

1/8 at Mississippi (Jefferson Pilot), 1:00

1/12 at Tennessee (Jefferson Pilot), 8:00

1/15 ARKANSAS, 2:00

1/18 at Alabama (ESPN), 8:00

1/22 SOUTH CAROLINA (FSN/SUN), 5:00

1/29 at LSU (Jefferson Pilot), 2:00

2/1 FLORIDA (ESPN2), 7:00

2/5 at Auburn, 1:00

2/12 VANDERBILT (FSN/SUN), 6:00

2/16 LSU (Jefferson Pilot Split), 7:00

2/19 at Kentucky (ESPN), 9:00ET

2/23 at Georgia, 7:30ET

2/26 MISSISSIPPI (FSN/SUN), 6:00

3/1 at Arkansas (ESPN), 6:00

3/5 ALABAMA (CBS), 1:00

3/10-13 SEC Tournament, Atlanta, Ga.


Gene's Page Top Stories