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STARKVILLE, Miss. (WCBI/MSU Athletics) – In the words of Elvis Presley, Viva Las Vegas.

(AP Photo)
MSU head coach Rick Ray and the Bulldogs will be visiting Las Vegas to compete in a 4-team tournament at the end of December.

Mississippi State’s 2013-14 non-conference slate will feature a trip to Las Vegas.

The Bulldogs, under the direction of second-year coach Rick Ray, have been invited to participate in the Continental Tire Las Vegas Classic, scheduled for Dec. 22-23 at the Orleans Arena.

MSU will join UNLV, South Florida and Santa Clara, with the bracket to be announced at a later date. Last year, Colorado State won the tournament after knocking off Virginia Tech, 88-52.

“I am excited about the opportunity to go out and compete in the Las Vegas Classic,” Ray said. “Santa Clara, South Florida and UNLV are quality teams that will provide our players tough out-of-conference competition. Our guys look forward to the opportunity in Las Vegas.”

All four teams will also play two on-campus games as part of this event. Those opponents will be announced at a later date.

Mississippi State is no stranger to the Orleans Arena. In December of 2010, the Bulldogs dropped a 94-72 decision to St. Mary’s.

While MSU has a history with Santa Clara and South Florida, it’s never faced UNLV. The Bulldogs are 3-0 against the Broncos, with the last meeting resulting in an 82-69 overtime victory in December of 2005. Against USF, MSU is 2-0, but the two haven’t met since the Bulldogs claimed an 86-81 win in January of 1974.

Tickets for the final two rounds in Las Vegas may be purchased at the MSU ticket office by calling 1-8880-GO-DAWGS. Beginning May 3, tickets will be available at the Orleans Arena box office (702-284-7777 or 888-234-2334), and via the internet at www.orleansarena.com.

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