South Carolina vs. Mississippi State preview: SEC Tournament begins with Gamecocks, Bulldogs


The winner of Wednesday's game moves on to play Tennessee in the second round. The loser will likely see their season come to an end.

The 2013 SEC Tournament will get underway on Wednesday as a couple of its bottom-tier teams square off at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville.

The No. 12 seed South Carolina Gamecocks are set to play the No. 13 seed Mississippi St. Bulldogs at 7:30 p.m. ET. Both schools finished conference play with identical 4-14 records. The winner will move on to play Tennessee in the second round, while the loser will likely have their season come to a close without receiving a postseason tournament invitation.

South Carolina comes in losing 10 of their last 12 games. According to Kenpom's efficiency rankings, the Gamecocks are rated as the 203rd best team in the nation. They are not particularly efficient on either end of the court, and new coach Frank Martin has really had a rough time finding go-to scoring options down the stretch.

Mississippi State is rated as one of the worst power conference teams in the nation. Their offense is rated 313th in the land out of 347 eligible programs. The Bulldogs were not expected to compete for the SEC title in the preseason, but four season-ending knee injuries have really caused a rough season in Starkville.

Scoring will be at a premium on Wednesday night. Between the two schools, the leading scorer is USC's LaShay Page, who averages 11.7 points a game.

In the regular season, the teams split their two meetings. Mississippi State won the first game by two points on Jan. 9, while South Carolina got their revenge in early March with a seven-point home win.

The game will be televised by the SEC Network at 7:30 p.m. Fans can also catch the game streamed live through ESPN3.

More in College Basketball:

Tracking the NCAA Tournament auto-bids

The latest Bracketology

Projecting the bracket with Easy Bubble Solver

Previewing the Big East tournament

Big Ten Tournament: Complete coverage

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