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NCAA Bracket 2019: Mississippi State a 5 seed in East Region, playing Liberty

Ben Howland’s bunch are back in the NCAA Tournament.

NCAA Basketball: Mississippi State at Georgia Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

A decade-long drought is over.

The Mississippi State Bulldogs are back in the NCAA Tournament. Having not made the field since 2009, the Bulldogs landed a very high 5 seed in this year’s edition of the Big Dance. Led by Quinndary Weatherspoon, Mississippi State had a very solid season that will now continue on in the month of madness.

The Bulldogs will play the Liberty Flames in the dreaded 5-12 matchup. The Flames won the Atlantic Sun Tournament and went 28-6 this season, certainly worthy of their bid in this year’s NCAA Tourney. They are led by Caleb Homesley and Lovell Cabbil this year, as well as Scottie James.

This is no doubt a big moment for the program, and now Ben Howland and Co. will hope to lead them through and make a big run. But they will play in a loaded region, featuring the 4-seeded Virginia Tech Hokies, the 3-seeded LSU Tigers, an opponent they know well, the 2-seeded Michigan State Spartans and the top seed in the NCAA Tournament, the Duke Blue Devils.