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SEC Tournament: Tennessee to face Mississippi State on Friday night

The Vols will face the Bulldogs again.

NCAA Basketball: Mississippi State at Tennessee Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

No. 3 seed Tennessee will face No. 6 seed Mississippi State on Friday night in the SEC Tournament, just as they did a year ago. Oddly enough, the Vols faced the Bulldogs during their second to last game of the season in 2018. Fast forward a year later, the exact same scenario has played out once again.

Mississippi State took control of their matchup against Texas A&M on Thursday night, earning control nearly from the opening tip. The Bulldogs built an early 22-7 lead and really never looked back. They finished strong, winning 80-54 late on Thursday in Nashville.

Tennessee crushed Mississippi State on senior night in Knoxville last week, cruising to a 71-54 win in Admiral Schofield and Kyle Alexander’s last game at Thompson-Boling Arena. Now they’ll face the Bulldogs once again with much more on the line.

In their first meeting, Tennessee held Quinndary Weatherspoon to just seven points on just 3-12 shooting. Lamar Peters only added six points after getting in some very early foul trouble. It would be a tall task to replicate that performance, particularly against Weatherspoon.

The winner of this one gets the winner of Kentucky-Alabama, which will be played at 7 p.m. ET on Friday. Alabama found a way to get past Ole Miss, who collapsed in the second half to keep the Crimson Tide’s NCAA Tournament hopes alive.

Tennessee’s game against Mississippi State is roughly scheduled for 9:00 p.m. ET time, although it will probably push closer to 9:30.