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March 11, 2012After a one-year absence, Mississippi State finds itself back in the postseason.
Sunday night, the Bulldogs, seeded 4th, received a bid from the NIT, and they will play host to No. 5-seed Massachusetts on Tuesday at 6 p.m. in a game televised by ESPN2.
It will be the first meeting between the two, while MSU is currently 16-9 against teams that comprise the Atlantic-10. The last A-10 foe the Bulldogs battled was St. Bonaventure in December of 2009, a game Mississippi State won handily, 105-53.
"Naturally, we are disappointed we are not playing in the NCAA Tournament, but at the same time we are looking forward to the NIT," 14th-year MSU coach Rick Stansbury said. "UMass had a great year and is playing extremely well in a very competitive conference. They are very talented and the thing that stands out is how deep they are."
This is MSU's 18th post-season berth (10 NCAA and 6 NIT) and 11th with Stansbury at the helm. All-time, MSU is 18-17 in post-season play, 7-7 in the NIT.
In Mississippi State's last NIT run in 2010, MSU knocked off Jackson State 81-67 before losing on a last-second shot to North Carolina, 76-74.
"I'm thankful for another opportunity, especially after leaving the SEC Tournament on a sour note," senior All-SEC guard Dee Bost said. "As a senior, I'm looking forward to playing at least one more game at the Hump."