The Crimson Tide earned a first-round bye, along with the second through fourth seeds, taking them directly to the quarter-finals.
The Bulldogs, who shocked Kentucky with a wild one-point victory to advance to this quarter-final matchup, will be hoping to make a splash before the March Madness tournament.
Fixture: Alabama Crimson Tide vs. Mississippi State Bulldogs - SEC Men's Basketball Tournament
Date & Time: Friday, March 12th, 2021, 12:00 PM ET
Venue: Bridgestone Arena, Nashville, Tennessee
Alabama Crimson Tide Preview
The Alabama Crimson Tide carry an impressive 21-6 overall record thus far, winning the SEC by a whopping 2.5 games. They will be playing with rested legs after earning a first-round bye, making them all-the-more dangerous in this quarter-final matchup.
The Crimson Tide defenders have been outstanding thus far, allowing just 69 points per game while averaging nearly 80 points on offense.
The Mississippi State Bulldogs will certainly have their hands full on Friday, but the Alabama Crimson Tide cannot afford to take them lightly.
Key Player - Jaden Shackelford
Jaden Shackelford has been a key offensive producer for the Alabama Crimson Tide this season.
The sophomore guard averaged a team-high 14.4 points per game during the regular season while also recording 26 steals on the defensive end.
Shackelford has recorded 10 or more points in all but five games this season, presenting a consistent source of offense for the Alabama Crimson Tide.
With his team just three wins away from an SEC Tournament title, Jaden Shackelford should bring his best basketball to Nashville.
Alabama Crimson Tide Predicted Lineup
F John Petty Jr., F Jaden Shackelford, G Joshua Primo, G Herbert Jones, G Alex Reese
Mississippi State Bulldogs Preview
Following a clutch one-point victory over the Kentucky Wildcats, the 8th-seeded Mississippi State Bulldogs will take on the regular-season champion Alabama Crimson Tide. The Bulldogs put up 74 points of offense to take down Kentucky, five more points than their season average.
Perhaps the Bulldogs are heating up at the perfect time, but their momentum will be immediately tested by the Crimson Tide.
If the Mississippi State Bulldogs' shooters are able to produce with similar efficiency, the Alabama Crimson Tide could be in for a surprise.
Key Player - Iverson Molinar
Sophomore sharpshooter Iverson Molinar will play a huge role in the Mississippi State Bulldogs offense on Friday, matching up with Alabama Crimson Tide star Jaden Shackelford.
Molinar, a native of Panama, has burst onto the scene this season, nearly tripling his production since his freshman year.
The talented guard averaged 16.4 points and four rebounds per game, shooting an impressive 44% from three-point range.
If the Bulldogs are going to outlast the offense of the Crimson Tide, they will need a standout performance from Iverson Molinar.
Mississippi State Bulldogs Predicted Lineup
F Abdul Ado, F Tolu Smith, F Jalen Johnson, G D.J. Stewart Jr., G Iverson Molinar
Alabama vs Mississippi State Prediction
As the 8th seed, the Mississippi State Bulldogs will be heavy underdogs in this matchup.
The Alabama Crimson Tide defeated the Bulldogs in their two meetings this season, but both games were within five points. The Crimson Tide will rely on their defense to shut down the skilled guards of Mississippi State.
The Alabama Crimson Tide will have an advantage on both ends of the floor, but the college basketball postseason could always provide some drama.
Where to watch Alabama vs Mississippi State
The game will be broadcast live on ESPN.