Bulldogs' season reaches the end

By Brad Locke/NEMS Daily Journal

Rick Stansbury isn’t used to all this free time.
For only the third time in his 13 seasons at the helm, Stansbury won’t be coaching Mississippi State in a postseason tournament. The NCAA tourney was already out of the question, and the NIT did not extend an invitation Sunday night.
It’s the first time since 2006 that the Bulldogs haven’t played in one of those events. The other time under Stansbury was 2000, his second season.
MSU went 17-14, including a 9-7 mark in the SEC, good enough for second place in the Western Division and a first-round bye in the SEC Tournament. State lost to Vanderbilt in that first game, 87-81.
Stansbury-led MSU teams have reached the NCAA tournament six times, most recently in 2009, and the NIT four times. The farthest State has gone in the NCAAs under Stansbury is the second round, while it made the NIT Final Four in 2007.
Athletics director Scott Stricklin confirmed on Saturday that MSU would not accept an invitation to either of the third-tier postseason events, the College Basketball Invitational or CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament.
Stansbury could not be reached for comment.
Southern Miss declines: The Southern Miss men’s basketball team, which finished 22-10, declined invitations to both the CBI and CIT events, the school announced on Sunday night.
Contact Brad Locke at 678-1571 or brad.locke@journalinc.com.