Ben Howland

Howland

The Mississippi State men will go into next basketball season with the SEC’s longest non-conference home winning streak, 22 consecutive games.

A veteran squad of Bulldogs will put that to the test with seven home games at Humphrey Coliseum before SEC play begins in January.

MSU has unveiled its non-conference schedule, featuring seven teams that won at least 19 games last season. The regular season tips off Nov. 5 at home against Florida International (20-14).

Not long after the Bulldogs’ non-SEC slate was rolled out on Tuesday, CBS college basketball insider Jon Rothstein reported that MSU will visit Oklahoma as part of the SEC/Big 12 Challenge on Saturday, Jan. 25. Ole Miss is not part of that event next season.

Another Big 12 squad, regular-season league champion Kansas State, will face the Bulldogs on Dec. 14 in Newark as part of the Never Forget Tribute Classic.

Mississippi State’s non- conference schedule also is highlighted by the 2019 Myrtle Beach Invitational. The Bulldogs open against Tulane on Nov. 21, while the rest of the eight-team tournament field includes Baylor, Middle Tennessee, Ohio, Utah, Villanova and host Coastal Carolina.

Other teams visiting Starkville before league play begins: Sam Houston State (Nov. 8), Louisiana-Monroe (Nov. 14), New Orleans (Nov. 17), Louisiana Tech (Dec. 5), Radford (Dec. 18) and Kent State (Dec 30). Sam Houston (Southland) and Radford (Big South) are the defending champions of their respective conferences.

MSU will return to Jackson for a high-profile clash on Dec. 22 against two-time defending WAC champion New Mexico State. The Aggies went 30-5 last season, 14-4 away from home.

Mississippi State’s roster features a nucleus of five returning players who combined for 83 starts and close to 50 percent of the team’s points Abdul Ado, Tyson Carter, Reggie Perry, Nick Weatherspoon and Robert Woodard II.

It’s be the fifth year in Starkville for Ben Howland, whose team went 23-11 and made the NCAA tourney field last season.

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