Bulldogs Garner No. 1 NIT Seed, Open with JSU

STARKVILLE, Miss. – Following an impressive SEC Tournament run in Nashville that culminated with a gut-wrenching, one-point overtime loss to No. 2 Kentucky in the finals on Sunday, Mississippi State accepted an invitation as a No. 1 seed to the NIT.

The Bulldogs, who are 23-11 overall, will face Jackson State (19-12) in the opening round at 9 p.m. on Tuesday in a game televised by ESPNU.

Due to being one of the four top-seeded teams, MSU earned the right to host the first three rounds if it wins.

This will be the seventh appearance in the NIT for Mississippi State, which sports a 6-6 ledger in this event.

The Bulldogs' last appearance came in 2007, when as a No. 1 seed they advanced to famed Madison Square Garden in New York City where they lost to West Virginia in the semis on a buzzer beater, 63-62.

MSU and the Tigers have previously met three times, with the Bulldogs winning on each occasion. Their last meeting came in December of 2003, with Mississippi State claiming a 71-56 win in Starkville.

JSU won the SWAC regular-season crown after posting a 17-1 league mark, but lost in the conference tournament to Grambling.

Overall, the Bulldogs are 18-2 against members of the Southwestern Athletic Conference. Earlier this year, MSU routed Mississippi Valley State at Humphrey Coliseum, 73-45.

If the Bulldogs win, they'll face Tuesday's North Carolina-William & Mary winner at a date and time to be determined.

All season ticket holders will have top priority until 5 p.m. on Monday. Tickets not purchased will be made available to the general public beginning at 7 p.m. Monday online at www.mstateathletics.com and starting at 8 a.m. on Tuesday at the MSU ticket office or by calling 1-888-GO-DAWGS. They are $20 each.

Student tickets will also be available for $4 beginning 8 a.m. on Tuesday and a valid student ID must be presented.

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