Mississippi State Bulldogs at Cincinnati Bearcats (7:00 PM ET, ESPN2/WatchESPN): It’s finals week at a lot of places, so the SEC’s basketball schedule is understandably light — this is the only game of the night and one of just four games this week.
At 8-0, Mississippi State is one of just seven remaining unbeaten teams in Division I. But a skeptic might point to their schedule as a big reason why they’re undefeated: the Bulldogs haven’t played a game outside of Humphrey Coliseum this year, and arguably the best team they’ve played has been Jacksonville State -- which is ranked #96 in KenPom. And they won that game by three points. Single-digit wins over Green Bay, Stephen F. Austin, and Dayton aren’t helping matters, either.
Both of these things change tonight. Mississippi State travels to Cincinnati, which is 7-2 and ranked in the top 25. This is where we find out if the Bulldogs are for real or if their record is a mirage, because if they’re competitive in Cincinnati, this is a fringe SEC contender. If they get blown out, though, we can remain skeptical.
Bad Gambling Advice
Season to Date: 34-30 ATS
Mississippi State (+11.5): While I’m not completely sold on Mississippi State, I also don’t think they will get blown out here. There’s talent in Starkville and I think they will at least keep this to single digits.