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The Mississippi State men's basketball team has been selected to play West Virginia at Humphrey Coliseum for the 2011 Big East/SEC Challenge this upcoming season.
Officials from both conferences and ESPN (the broadcast partner for all 12 of the games in the event) announced the matchups Thursday afternoon.
The game between the Mountaineers and Bulldogs is set for Dec. 3 at Humphrey Coliseum, and the tip time along with the television channel (ESPN, ESPN2 or ESPNU) will be announced at a later date. It will be the first ever trip to Starkville for the West Virginia program and the first time MSU will host a regular season non-conference game against a BCS opponent since Dec. 30, 2007 (a 87-75 victory over Missouri).
â€śAnytime you play a team from the Big East, you know it's going to be tough,â€ť Mississippi State head coach Rick Stansbury said. â€śWest Virginiaâ€™s record and what theyâ€™ve done in the NCAA Tournament the last couple of years speaks for itself. Itâ€™s going to be a tough game, but one I know our fans will be excited about. Theyâ€™ll be well-coached and it will be a good test for us before we start SEC play.â€ť
West Virginia and Mississippi State have met just once, in the semifinals of the 2007 NIT at Madison Square Garden in New York City where the Mountaineers won 63-62 on a last-second three-point shot.
This past season, the Mountaineers, coached by Bob Huggins, posted a 21-12 ledger and lost in the second round of the NCAA Tournament to Kentucky 71-63.
The Bulldogs could possibly play two Big East opponents this year, as St. Johnâ€™s is one of the four teams participating in the 2K Sports Classic Classic in November at Madison Square Garden, along with Arizona and Texas A&M.
This is the fifth year that the SEC and Big East have played each other as a part of an in-season event but 2011 marks a different twist to the event formally called the SEC/Big East Invitational from 2007-10 because up until now the event featured only four matchups between the two conferences from two neutral sites.
SEC Baseball Tournament
to stay in Hoover to 2016
The Southeastern Conference has entered into a new agreement with the Alabama Sports Foundation and the City of Hoover, ensuring that the leagueâ€™s annual baseball tournament will remain at Regions Park through the year 2016, SEC Commissioner Mike Slive announced Thursday.
â€śWe are very pleased about continuing our relationship with the Alabama Sports Foundation and the City of Hoover,â€ť Slive said. â€śWe have seen the tournament grow through the support of those two entities and our great fans. SEC baseball supporters have had a major impact on the success of this event, and we look forward to continuing to provide them with a great environment and experience.â€ť
The 2010 SEC Baseball Tournament, held in Hoover, Ala., drew over 126,000 fans and nearly 10,000 per game, both record-highs for the event. Five times time in the last eight years, the tournament has surpassed the six-digit mark in total attendance. The 2008 event drew over 124,000 fans. The top 15 crowds in tournament history have come at Regions Park.
Regions Park, formerly called Hoover Metropolitan Stadium, has been the home of the Double-A Birmingham Barons of the Chicago White Sox organization since 1988.
The City of Hoover has made nearly $6 million in stadium improvements and renovations over the last five years, including most recently, installation of a state-of-the-art, high definition video board. All games of the annual event are televised live and in HD as part of the leagueâ€™s recent television contract with ESPN, as well as broadcast around the globe on ESPN3.com and SiriusXM Satellite Radio.
Schmidt undergoes triple
bypass surgery Thursday
Mississippi State officials confirmed Thursday that the Bulldogs director of track and field Al Schmidt underwent triple bypass surgery at Athens Regional Medical Center in Athens, Ga.
Schmidt, who spent his first 22 years as head coach before taking over his new role last August, suffered cardiac arrest a week ago while at the SEC Outdoor Track & Field Championships in Athens. Last Friday, doctors inserted a pacemaker/defibrillator.
The MSU release said Monday that Schmidt did receive two shocks from an AED at the track after suffering a cardiac arrest but he was alert and communicating as he was transported to the hospital. Schmidt received a cardiac catheterization. Doctors will insert an AICD (Automatic,, Implantable, Cardioverter-Defibrillator) today.
â€śEverybody here at the hospital and the staff at Georgia have been so wonderful,â€ť Schmidt's wife Jessie said in the university release. â€śWe couldnâ€™t be more pleased considering the situation.â€ť
Schmidt, 60, is in his 23rd season at Mississippi State, having spent the first 22 as a head coach before being named director of track and field last August.
It was the second bypass operation for Schmidt with his first coming in July of 1998 in Baton Rouge.