RETURN OF INVESTMENT
LAST 10 GAMES
NCAA Division: Division I
Conference: Southeastern (1932-present)
Past Conferences: Southern
City: Starkville, Miss.
Stadium: Humphrey Coliseum
NCAA Tournaments: 11 (1963, 1991, 1995, 1996, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2008, 2009, 2019)
National Championships: None
Conference Tournament Titles: 4 (1923, 1996, 2002, 2009)
Conference Regular Season Titles: 10 (1912, 1913, 1913, 1914, 1959, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1991, 2004)
The Mississippi State Bulldogs are a Division I program located in Starkville, Miss. Mississippi State, an original member of the Southeastern Conference, is coached by Chris Jans.
Mississippi State has appeared 11 times in the NCAA Tournament, including four consecutive years from 2002-05. But the Bulldogs have been to the Big Dance just once in the last decade. That appearance came in 2019, when the Bulldogs went 23-11, including 10-8 in SEC play, and were upset in the first round by 12th-seeded Liberty, 80-76.
That was the only time the Bulldogs made the tournament in seven seasons under Ben Howland, although they did reach the National Invitational Tournament semifinals in 2018 and were a runner-up in 2021, losing 77-64 to Memphis.
Howland was dismissed following a first-round NIT loss in 2022. Chris Jans, the former three-time Western Athletic Conference Coach of the Year at New Mexico State, was tabbed as Howland’s replacement. Although the Bulldogs were picked to finish 10th in the 2022-23 SEC preseason media poll, they cracked the AP Top 25 following an 8-0 start.
The Bulldogs are 11-11 overall in the NCAA Tournament, including a run to the Sweet 16 in 1995 under Richard Williams. The following season, the Bulldogs reached new heights, winning a then-program record 26 games, including an SEC Tournament title, and reaching the Final Four. Led by AP All-American center Erick Dampier, No. 5 seed Mississippi State beat 12th-seeded VCU, 13th-seeded Princeton, top-seeded UConn and second-seeded Cincinnati before falling in the national semifinals to No. 4 seed Syracuse, 77-69.
As memorable as that run was, it proved fleeting.
The Bulldogs didn’t return to the tournament until six years later. This time, Rick Stansbury was at the helm. The 2001-02 Bulldogs set a new school record with 27 wins and captured another SEC Tournament title, but No. 6 seed Texas overcame slight odds to beat them in the second round of the NCAAs, 68-64.
Mississippi State also reached the tournament the following three seasons under Stansbury but did not advance beyond the round of 32. After winning a school-record 293 games over 14 seasons, Stansbury temporarily retired in 2012. His replacement, Rick Ray, was fired after three sub-.500 seasons.
Mississippi State’s postseason history also includes 11 trips to the NIT, where its combined record is 13-11. The Bulldogs’ last NIT victory — or better yet, their last postseason win, period — came in the 2021 semifinals over Louisiana Tech.
Mississippi State’s alumni base includes six-time NBA All-Star and Hall of Famer Bailey Howell, whose No. 52 is retired by the school, 2010 NCAA Defensive Player of the Year Jarvis Varnado and a slew of former first-round NBA draft picks: Rickey Brown, Dontae’ Jones, Jeff Malone, Arnett Moultrie, and Wiley Peck.
All Time Records
Jeff Malone: 2,142
Bailey Howell: 2,030
Quinndary Weatherspoon: 2,012
Bailey Howell: 1,277
Jarvis Varnado: 1,096
Rickey Brown: 1,092
Dee Bost: 633
Derrick Zimmerman: 513
Al Perry: 510