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Preview: No. 1 Mississippi State meets No. 5 Missouri in Saturday’s SEC Tournament semifinal clash

The only team to beat the top-seeded Bulldogs during SEC conference play, the Tigers are as confident as ever and looking for another upset. Can they beat the SEC’s top dog?

SEC Sixth Woman of the Year Cierra Porter (#21) and Missouri Tigers scoring leader Sophie Cunningham (#3) are planning a semifinal upset.
Photo by Bryan Lynn/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

On Valentine’s Day 2019, the Missouri Tigers grabbed the heart of the Mississippi State Bulldogs and broke it. The eight-point loss on the Bulldogs’ home court would become the only loss for Mississippi State, then ranked No. 5 in the national AP Poll, during conference play.

Surely, the Bulldogs are still sore. And with SEC Sixth Woman of the Year Cierra Porter making 53.9 percent of her field goals in 19 minutes per game and team scoring leader Sophie Cunningham (All-SEC First Team) averaging 17.5 points and 6.2 rebounds per game, the Bulldogs should consider the Tigers a threat to their survival.

In addition to the Feb. 14 victory over Mississippi State, Mizzou also beat then-No. 10 Tennessee (Jan. 6) and then-No. 18 Texas A&M (Feb. 7) during conference play. So far in the SEC Tournament, the Tigers have toppled Florida (in the second round) and No. 13 Kentucky (in a quarterfinal overtime thriller).

But as a team that features Teaira McCowan (SEC Player of the Year and two-time Defensive Player of the Year), Anriel Howard (All-SEC First Team) and Jazzmun Holmes (All-Defensive Team), the Bulldogs will not go quietly, if at all.

Having locked up the SEC regular-season championship and finishing at No. 5 in the AP Poll, Mississippi State will only be looking to enter the NCAA Tournament in strong position. So, grab the popcorn and any preferred beverages. With upset potential very real, this one promises to be a thriller.

In the second semifinal game of the day, the No. 10 Arkansas Razorbacks are looking to upset the No. 3 Texas A&M Aggies.

Here’s how to watch both games:

SEC Tournament Semifinal — Game 1

No. 1 Mississippi State Bulldogs vs. No. 5 Missouri Tigers

When: Saturday, March 9, at 5 p.m. ET

Where: Bon Secours Wellness Arena, Greenville, SC

How to watch: ESPNU

SEC Tournament Semifinal — Game 2

No. 10 Arkansas Razorbacks vs. No. 3 Texas A&M Aggies

When: Saturday, March 9, at 7:30 p.m. ET

Where: Bon Secours Wellness Arena, Greenville, SC

How to watch: ESPNU