Mississippi State basketball

Mississippi State head coach Ben Howland urges his players not to foul during the second half of last season's game against Auburn at Humphrey Coliseum.

Mississippi State isn’t going to have to wait long this season to see how it measures up against one of the Southeastern Conference’s best.

MSU (9-3) opens league play Saturday at 3:30 p.m. with a home game against undefeated Auburn (12-0). It’s a big-time chance for the Bulldogs to build some momentum going into the back half of this season.

"Obviously, every team is trying to protect their home court and we're no different,” MSU head coach Ben Howland said. “We're playing against the highest-rated (SEC) team (according to the NET) and one of only a couple undefeated teams left. It's a great opportunity for our program and the guys are excited."

For more previewing the Bulldogs and Tigers, see Saturday's Starkville Daily News.

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