Mississippi State (3-1) enters the South Padre Island Invitational sporting an all-time record of 82-70 in regular-season tournament play. The Bulldogs have also won 17 titles, the last coming at the 2000 Bank One Fiesta Bowl Classic.
Last year, MSU participated in the Legends Classic in Newark, N.J., and lost to Washington State (63-52) and Texas Tech (77-73).
Friday also marks the second time the Bulldogs and Spiders (4-1) have met in tournament play. In the 2001 Las Vegas Classic, Mississippi State claimed a thrilling 74-72 win.
Overall, MSU holds a 2-1 advantage in this series.
On Saturday, the Bulldogs will play either Missouri or Old Dominion in the finals or consolation outing. Tipoff for the consolation game is set for 4:30 p.m., while the finals will be played at 7 p.m.
MSU has battled Missouri three times, with the Tigers holding a 2-1 advantage. The two last met on Dec. 30, 2007, in Starkville, with MSU claiming an 87-75 victory.
Mississippi State and the Monarchs have split their four games, with MSU winning the last time out, 62-57 in Norfolk, Va., on Dec. 18, 1997. They've met twice in tournament play, with ODU staking an 82-78 win in the 1976 Old Dominion Classic and a 72-71 OT victory at the 1996 Puerto Rico Holiday Classic in San Juan.
The Bulldogs enter play against the Spiders led in scoring (16.0) and rebounding (12.0) by senior All-SEC forward Jarvis Varnado, who has also recorded three double-doubles this season. Richmond is led by Kevin Anderson's 19.8 scoring clip, followed by David Gonzalvez.