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Louisville basketball to face Mississippi State in Bahamas opener

The rivalry(?) is back on.

Mississippi State Bulldogs v Saint Mary’s Gaels Photo by David Becker/Getty Images

The Louisville men’s basketball team will face Mississippi State in its first game at the Baha Mar Hoops Bahamas Championship this November. The game will take place on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 25, at the Baha Mar Convention Center in Nassau, Bahamas.

The winner of the game between the Cardinals and Bulldogs will then square off against the winner of Maryland vs. Richmond on Nov. 27 in the event’s championship game. The two losers will also square off on that Saturday.

Ben Howland’s Mississippi State squad returns two of its top three scorers from an 18-15 team that won seven of its last 10 games and earned a runner-up finish in the 2021 NIT. Guard Iverson Molinar ranked in the SEC top 10 in points per game (16.7, 4th), field goal percentage (47.8, 5th) and 20-plus point games (8, 7th). Forward Tolu Smith was the SEC leader in rebounds per game (8.5) and double-doubles (8) last season.

MSU also added four impact transfers that Louisville fans should be familiar with — Garrison Brooks (North Carolina), D.J. Jeffries (Memphis), Rocket Watts (Michigan State) and Shakeel Moore (North Carolina State).

Louisville is 3-2 all-time against Mississippi State, but the last meeting between the two teams was a 79-56 romp for the Bulldogs in the 2018 NIT.

The Mississippi State curse — which saw the Bulldogs end Louisville’s season with a loss in football, men’s basketball and women’s basketball in 2017-18 — was broken when the football team knocked off the Bulldogs in the 2019 Music City Bowl. Men’s basketball is up next.

Also, you’re welcome for Chris Lemonis being great. See you on Turkey Day.