n At least Mississippi State knows exactly what it must do now.
The Bulldogs' loss to Auburn on Saturday should have snuffed out any remaining hopes that they can receive an at-large berth to the NCAA tournament in two weeks.
It will now take a run to the SEC Tournament championship. Lowly Georgia did it last year, so why not?
"I know some of (the players) are probably thinking the season's over with, but we've got two more games left, and then we've got the SEC Tournament," junior center Jarvis Varnado said. "And who knows. Look what happened to Georgia last year."
Guard Phil Turner echoed that sentiment, and added, "The people on the inside, the team and the coaches, we're the only people that believe we can win anyway. Everybody else just hopes we can win."
Varnado boxed in
n MSU center Jarvis Varnado didn't have a bad game, scoring a team-high 14 points on 6-of-11 shooting and grabbing nine rebounds. But, he had just two blocks, committed four turnovers and was not finding shots on a consistent basis.
Auburn double-teamed Varnado a lot but also let him go one-on-one. MSU knew the double teams were coming but couldn't capitalize when Varnado kicked it out.
"We didn't make shots out of that double team, and they turned us over some, particularly in that second half, on that double team," MSU coach Rick Stansbury said.
Bench gets blanked
n Stansbury has talked all season about his bench players "not taking away" and, as a bonus, "adding to." State's bench added nothing Saturday. Literally.
Auburn's bench scored 36 points, and MSU's scored zero.
"I've just got no answer why," Stansbury said. "The biggest thing was our passion and our energy, which would lead to more baskets everywhere."
n "When you don't play hard, you've got no chance." - MSU coach Rick Stansbury