STARKVILLE, Miss. (MSU Athletics) – Mississippi State men’s basketball will play host to its first SEC/Big 12 Challenge matchup since 2013-14 when the Bulldogs welcome Iowa State to Humphrey Coliseum on Saturday, January 30 announced Wednesday by both conference offices.
The eighth annual SEC/Big 12 Challenge will feature 10 games televised by ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU during the last Saturday of January for the sixth straight season. Game times and television network assignments will be announced at a later date.
The two conferences have split the last 40 meetings of the challenge over the last four seasons with the SEC earning a 6-4 win in 2017-18 in addition to a pair of 5-5 draws in 2016-17 and 2019-20. The Bulldogs are making their third appearance in the event and dropped a 63-62 decision at Oklahoma last season.
Iowa State has amassed at least 23 victories and made NCAA Tournament trips during seven of the last nine seasons fueled by a pair of NCAA Sweet 16 runs in 2013-14 and 2015-16. The Cyclones are slated to return two of their two top three scorers in Rasir Bolton (14.7 PPG) and Solomon Young (9.8 PPG). Iowa State’s top player from 2019-20, Tyrese Haliburton (15.2 PPG, 6.5 APG, 5.9 RPG, 2.5 SPG), has declared for the NBA Draft.
Mississippi State won both of its previous meetings with the Cyclones, a home-and-home series during the 1978-79 and 1979-80 seasons. Rickey Brown, one of MSU’s top five scorers in program history, averaged 25.0 points per game to spark the two wins for the Bulldogs.
Mississippi State won 11 of its last 15 SEC games to earn a top 4 finish in the conference standings, the program’s highest overall regular season finish since 2010-11. The Bulldogs have tucked away three consecutive 20-plus win seasons under sixth-year coach Ben Howland. The last time the program accomplished that feat was the 2007-08, 2008-09 and 2009-10 seasons. The 68 victories also are the fourth-highest total in program history for a three-year span.
Mississippi State will look to punch its return ticket to March Madness in 2020-21 led by returnees Abdul Ado, Iverson Molinar and D.J. Stewart Jr. The trio will be joined by talented transfers in Javian Davis, Jalen Johnson and Tolu Smith along with a skillful freshmen class headed by Derek Fountain, Andersson Garcia, Cameron Matthews, Keondre Montgomery and Deivon Smith.
Visit www.HailState.com for the latest news and information on the men’s basketball program. Fans also can follow the program on its social media outlets by searching ‘HailStateMBK’ on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
2021 SEC/Big 12 Challenge – Saturday, January 30, 2021
Hosted by SEC
Iowa State at Mississippi State
Texas at Kentucky
Texas Tech at LSU
TCU at Missouri
Kansas at Tennessee
Hosted by Big 12
Alabama at Oklahoma
Arkansas at Oklahoma State
Auburn at Baylor
Florida at West Virginia
Texas A&M at Kansas State
Mississippi State – SEC/Big 12 Challenge History
Date, Matchup, Location
12/05/2013, TCU 71, Mississippi State 61, Starkville
01/25/2020, Oklahoma 63, Mississippi State 62, Oklahoma City