[5:00 PM] Mississippi State v. UCF

Who will WIN this matchup?

Mississippi State Bulldogs (1-0)

UCF Knights (1-0)


Mississippi State survived its season opener with a 78-74 win against Norfolk State and six true freshman combined for 31 points. Quinndary Weatherspoon, a sophomore guard and one of two returning starters for the Bulldogs, scored 22 points on 9-for-16 shooting and I.J. Ready, the only senior on the roster, added 14 points and seven assists.

The best player for the Knights in Monday’s season-opening 80-56 win against Nicholls, fifth-year senior Matt Williams, is more of an outside threat as he sank 6-of-11 from 3-point range.

Mario Kegler sank two free throws with 6.6 seconds left to clinch the win against Norfolk State, but Tyson Carter had the best showing among the freshmen, scoring 17 points with the help of 5-for-7 from 3-point distance. Tyson Carter and the remaining starters combined to shoot 11-for-20 from beyond the 3-point arc against Norfolk State, but a change in scenery Thursday could make perimeter shooting more difficult.

The Knights had a terrific showing from their starters in their season opener, as all five reached double figures in scoring. Fall and 6-8 forward Nick Banyard also collected double-doubles and guard Tanksley Efianayi finished one rebound short. Banyard played high school basketball at Marcus High School in Flower Mound, Tex. and was a teammate of Marcus Smart, who went on to become the Big 12 Player of the Year at Oklahoma State in 2013 and a first-round draft pick of the Boston Celtics a year later.

The 59 rebounds Central Florida totaled against Nicholls were its most in a game since in 2001.


StreakSmarts Pick: Mississippi State Bulldogs

Confidence: 5/10

StreakSmarter Pick