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SEC Tournament 2nd Round: #5 Alabama vs. #12 Mississippi State Game Thread

Alabama Crimson Tide (17-13, 10-8 SEC) vs. Mississippi State Bulldogs (16-15, 6-12 SEC)

Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

The Crimson Tide will tip-off for their first match-up of the 2017 SEC Tournament with the 12th-seeded Mississippi State Bulldogs, who defeated 13-seed LSU 79-52 last night. The Tide will be tasked with trying to best this young, but talented, team for a third time this season, which is no small feat. Alabama has no other option though, if they want to make some sort of last-ditched run at the NCAA Tournament. Or at the very least improve their seeding in the NIT.

The Crimson Tide are currently slotted somewhere in the 4-5 seed range, which is exactly where 'Bama ended up last season. Avery Johnson will surely want to improve on that in his second year, and that will absolutely require a win today.

If nothing else, the SEC Tournament Championship is ultimately at stake, and with an elite defense and strong rebounding numbers, Alabama may just have a chance. But it starts with beating Mississippi State again.

The game will tip about 30 minutes after the Tennessee-Georgia match-up ends, and it will be televised on the SEC Network.