While everyone is filling out brackets and arguing over upset specials, Mississippi State was doing real work last night in beating Jackson State 81-67 in the NIT first round. The Bullogs were in control pretty much the whole entire game, never leading by less than five after breaking a 6-6 tie early in the first half.
Jarvis Varnado was the top player of the night, scoring 21 points, grabbing eight rebounds, and swatting three shots. Dee Bost was sharp too, scoring 18 points and dishing out six assists. Jackson State's Garrison Johnson had 32 pointsin a stellar effort, but no one else on his team had more than 11. MSU's defense held the Tigers to just 36.7 percent shooting overall, and Johnson shot just 9-23 from the floor despite his high scoring.
Mississippi State now advances to the NIT second round to play defending national champion North Carolina, who beat William & Mary last night as well.