The Kentucky Wildcats host the Mississippi State Bulldogs Wednesday night, January 8th, at 8:00PM (ET) in Rupp Arena. Kentucky comes in after having not played since hosting rival Louisville on December 28th while the Bulldogs beat Maryland Eastern Shore team 77-63 last Thursday.
The game is set to open SEC play for both teams but let’s open tonight’s 7 degrees with a history lesson:
- In 1963 Mississippi State was ordered by then Governor, Ross Barnett, not to play in the NCAA tournament. The reason? The team they faced, Loyola University of Chicago, had African-Americans on its squad, including four starters.
- Coach Babe McCarthy hurried his Bulldog team out in the middle of the night in order to make the trip to East Lansing, Michigan to face the Ramblers of LU-C. The Bulldogs lost to the eventual National Champions but did manage to become one of the first all-white Southern school to face a team with black members. LU-C is still the only team in the state of Illinois to ever win the D1 NCAA Championship.
- Mississippi State may have snuck off to Michigan that night, but their home court is now Humphrey Coliseum.
- Opened in 1975, “the Hump” as it is known, remains one of the largest basketball venues in the Southeastern Conference, with a seating capacity of 10,500 and noise level known to cause a deafining effect on all in attendance… likely due to the cow-bells.
- The largest crowd to ever play at The Hump is 10,788. The Bulldogs played host to #2 Kentucky and lost 75-74 thanks to a Demarcus Cousins rebound/tip-in that sent the Wildcats to Overtime and 7 points in OT by co-star freshmen John Wall.
- Born as Gregory E Jacobs but better known as “Shock G” or even “Humpty Hump” after his hit “The Humpty Dance” in 1990, the Brooklyn native also went by the name MC Blowfish.
- Current coach of the Kentucky’s women’s basketball team, Matthew Mitchell took to the state to give his take on being an MC as he channeled MC Hammer during his 2013 Big Blue Madness introduction. Oh, did I mention Mitchell is a Mississippi State alumni as well?
There you have it, from a sneaking out-of-town, to the Humpty Dance or should we say MC Blowfish, to MC Hammer channeling, that’s your 7 degrees of the Mississippi State Bulldogs.