MSU/SYRACUSE WRAP

MSU/SYRACUSE WRAP

Wilson’s dream: MSU senior guard Darryl Wilson grew up in Kennedy, Ala., watching college basketball on TV and dreaming of the day he’d get a shot to pay in a Final Four.

This week his dream came true, even though it had a nightmare ending.

“We all hurt, but this was the first time this has happened for Mississippi State,” he said. “This is something I’ve wanted since I was a little kid. This is something you can’t ever take from us. We played in the Final Four.”

Wilson went out with a bang, hitting six 3-pointers and scoring 20 points. The six 3-pointers equaled the fifth-highest total in Final Four history.

Poor rebounding: Syracuse’s 21 rebounds against Mississippi State was the third lowest total in Final Four history.

The Orangemen also recorded a season-low five turnovers.

“We knew they were going to beat us on the boards, so we had to take care of the ball,” Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim said.

Final Four history: Mississippi State is only one of five SEC schools and one of 18 SEC teams to qualify for an appearance in the Final Four since 1939. Kentucky leads the list with 11 trips, including this year. The Wildcats have won five national championships.

LSU has made three trips to the Final Four, followed by Arkansas with two and Georgia and MSU with one each. The Razorbacks won the national title in 1994.

MSU’s NCAA history: Including Saturday’s game against Syracuse, Mississippi State is now 7-3 all-time in four years of NCAA Tournament play. The Bulldogs were 2-1 last season, 0-1 in 1991 and 1-1 in 1963.

ESPN odds: ESPNET sponsored a contest were callers picked semifinal winners and national champions. Of the entries, 49,777 picked Kentucky to win it all, 16,669 tabbed UMass, 240 Syracuse and 125 MSU.

Student tickets: MSU’s students got fewer tickets for the Final Four than any of the other three schools. State alloted 250 tickets for students, Kentucky 800 and UMass and Syracuse 1,000 each.

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