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The Disappointing Decline of Mississippi State


Over the past  decade I’ve found that there are just some things you can be certain of. One of those things is that if you go out anywhere or anytime to one of the various bars in Lexington then the song Wagon Wheel is going to play. The other thing I thought I was certain of was that when the Cats met the Mississippi State Bulldogs on the hardwood then the game was going to be great. Over the past ten years its hard to find a better opponent. Florida may have had better teams but we all knew that their hearts weren’t in it. No, it was Mississippi State that no matter how bad their team had been were always up to play the Cats. Here are my favorite moments of the recent rivalry:

The Lane Violation

There are certain games that just stick with you and this is one that I will never forget. I was participating in the time honored tradition in our great state of watching the SEC tournament in the middle of class. Kentucky was about to ice the game when the unthinkable happened. Which came first is unknown but Sheray Thomas stepped away from the line to doom the Cats and a dubious timeout was made. It was the kind of play that breeds a rivalry especially when Miss St. hit a crazy shot and then pulled it out in overtime. The game marked the final one for Tubby Smith in Blue and brought about a disappointing end for our old ball coach.

Call me Maybe

This is the kind of stuff a great rival does. They get the phone number of the most beloved stick of dynamite to ever suit up and harass him with constant phone calls. You feel bad for Cuz but the feelings of rage and wanting to beat a team so bad it brings out are more than worth it. The Cats took the dawg’s best shot and prevailed in overtime. But the game was so good that playing it just once wasn’t enough. The two teams found magic again in the SEC championship.

Don’t Call It A Comeback

Down three, five to go, shooting two. Not many teams could pull off the miracle in Nash-Vegas but somehow Kentucky found a way to make it happen. As soon as the shot went in I leapt through the air like John Wall and ran wall to wall in my apartment with all of my roommates going insane. The ending was unforgettable and the Cats went on to capture the SEC championship in overtime.  Mississippi State would miss the NCAA tournament after the loss. Tough break.

Down But Not Out

The biggest lead the Cats had to overcome en route to the national championship was against Miss State and this game just illustrated the resolve that lead them to the crown. Down 13 at the half the Cats stormed back to win by 9. Talk about a monster second half.


With so many great moments in the recent past its a little disappointing to see the Cats favored by 20. Mississippi State will bring just 6 scholarship players to Rupp tomorrow and will almost certainly get destroyed. I’ll be watching with a tinge of regret. The once great rival stepping into the ring to get leveled by the heavyweight champ. But as the games above have shown, you just never know what you’re going to get when the Cats fight the dawgs.


Article written by Andrew Cassady

Follow me @ACassady_KSR

34 Comments for The Disappointing Decline of Mississippi State

  1. bigbluebeast35
    2:09 pm February 27, 2013 Permalink

    I hope Miss St brings them tomorrow! We’d win tonight by forfeit!

  2. MRob
    2:10 pm February 27, 2013 Permalink

    Didn’t Erik Daniels have a put pack buzzer beater against miss st a couple years back. I was young and remember my dad came in and woke me up saying the cats came back and won. Another great game between these two.

  3. bigbluebeast35
    2:11 pm February 27, 2013 Permalink

    2. Believe it was in 2003.

  4. Dustin
    2:12 pm February 27, 2013 Permalink

    Let’s not get to carried away. We have to teams that show up constantly. If we get the Cats from the 1st half of the Missouri game this could be a much closer matchup than we want to see. If we bring it like we did in the 2nd half then we should have no problem handling the Bull Dawgs. I just have a hard time believing that we will blow anyone out this year. I hope like hell im wrong and we do win by 20 but im not counting my chickens before they hatch. Cats by 20, im gonnna hang up and listen.

  5. TN Cat
    2:12 pm February 27, 2013 Permalink

    Seems like there was a year that we started the game on a 21-2 run and ended up losing. It was back in the Tubby days.

  6. Clouseau
    2:21 pm February 27, 2013 Permalink

    Man Stansbury wanted to beat us so badly he could taste it. Man I sports-hated that guy so much.

  7. MRob
    2:22 pm February 27, 2013 Permalink

    Thanks bigblue. I loved that 2003 team, and we should have won it that year.

  8. Go Big Blue
    2:22 pm February 27, 2013 Permalink

    Renardo Sydney ate an entire schools hopes and dreams.

  9. James
    2:23 pm February 27, 2013 Permalink

    That Cousins tip in and the Wall reaction never gets old.

    2:23 pm February 27, 2013 Permalink

    #2 I got on here to say the same thing. How do you forget that Erik Daniels buzzer beater in Starkville? I nearly jumped through my TV that night.

    2:24 pm February 27, 2013 Permalink

    3, I think it was the 04 team that got beat by UAB.

  12. PatPattersonISwalkingthruthatdoor
    2:27 pm February 27, 2013 Permalink

    Was it Thayer Evans who wrote that ridiculous article after last year’s win in Starkville? “The fact that Kentucky *had* to come back from 13 down is evidence that they won’t win the title”. MORAN!!!

  13. PatPattersonISwalkingthruthatdoor
    2:28 pm February 27, 2013 Permalink

    Yes, it was the 04 team because it preserved that ridiculous SEC win streak that the 03 team had started.

  14. Bean
    2:34 pm February 27, 2013 Permalink

    Some of these writers don’t know their Kentucky basketball history. That was NOT the final game for Tubby. He coached them in the NCAA tournament and ended up losing to Kansas in the 2nd round.

  15. ThankfulCat
    2:35 pm February 27, 2013 Permalink



    Isn’t she the girl from Happy Days who played Richie’s sister?

    She is homeless now

    I think you meant MORON!!!

  16. Yngvie Malmsteen.
    2:41 pm February 27, 2013 Permalink

    Disappointing to who?

  17. Huh?
    2:52 pm February 27, 2013 Permalink

    Did an 8-year old child write this article? What the hell does the following sentence mean….

    “Sheray Thomas stepped away from the line to doom the Kentucky and a dubious call was made. ”

    I could quote at least five more poorly constructed, unintelligible sentences….just awful, awful writing. Matt, maybe hire a few folks that have been to Professor Ryan’s Journalism 101 class. The writing on this site is getting pretty bad.

  18. bigbluebeast35
    2:55 pm February 27, 2013 Permalink

    11. Could be wrong, but I could have sworn it was my first year at UK, and the team that went undefeated in conference play. Maybe I am, I dunno.

  19. bigbluebeast35
    2:56 pm February 27, 2013 Permalink

    Just checked, you’re right. It was 2004.

  20. Litig8tr
    2:57 pm February 27, 2013 Permalink

    Of all the SEC venues I have been to, the fans have been great except for MSU. They were obnoxious both places. I have no sympathy for them.

    3:01 pm February 27, 2013 Permalink

    I’ll bet Boogie haunts their dreams!

  22. Yoursuchadick
    3:05 pm February 27, 2013 Permalink

    17) if you watch the video it will all make sense you f king as$hole…go dig a hole somewhere and jump in

  23. ktmiln2
    3:08 pm February 27, 2013 Permalink

    15. First day on the internet? The moran thing is a classic.

  24. Huh?
    3:09 pm February 27, 2013 Permalink

    22) Then why have writing at all? Why not just post the video with no explanation?

    Bottom line….Sentences like this: “It was as good of a finish that I’ve seen and is yet another UK memory that I’ll never forget” make us all dumber.

    This was “as bad of an article” as I’ve ever read on KSR.

  25. ZombieLibrarian
    3:11 pm February 27, 2013 Permalink

    They never shoulda fired Stansbury. He made a couple of questionable deicisions toward the end of this time there (like bringing in Renardo Sidney), but no one can question the guy’s ability to coach. I can’t believe he didn’t get hired away from MSU by someone; he always had them competitive and let’s face it, who in their right mind plays for Miss. St (outside of local kids) if they can get a scholarship to somewhere else? Plus, he was a KY boy, so he obviously knows basketball.

  26. John
    3:23 pm February 27, 2013 Permalink

    I miss the team of Hammond and Conley!

  27. blindsided
    3:24 pm February 27, 2013 Permalink

    They showed us all alittle something by not giving up that night. Just like when America never gave up when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor.

  28. daddyfromcincinnati
    3:52 pm February 27, 2013 Permalink

    Another flawless article from Andrew! This guy is going to be making the big bucks one day!

  29. daddyfromcincinnati
    3:54 pm February 27, 2013 Permalink


  30. Biglaw Dawgin'
    4:14 pm February 27, 2013 Permalink

    You’re right Andrew, MSU has always been a tough matchup for UK. I think it had to do with good coaching. Under Rick Stansbury (A KY native), they were always just mentally and physically tough. You’re never going to blow teams like that out.

  31. EC
    4:28 pm February 27, 2013 Permalink

    That put back by Boogie always makes me smile.

  32. mudcreekmark
    4:59 pm February 27, 2013 Permalink

    Mississippi State is getting what it deserves. They practically ran off Rick Stansbury and now they are paying the price. Stansburys teams were always competitive. They forgot who they were.

  33. Jake_GOCATS
    6:10 pm February 27, 2013 Permalink

    What about the outback by Erik Daniels on State?

  34. Jake_GOCATS
    6:11 pm February 27, 2013 Permalink

    *putback stupid auto correct