Monday, July 24, 2017  SUBSCRIBE   
New degree program at Mississippi State benefits music educators
Beginning in summer 2018, Mississippi State University will offer a new master's degree designed primarily to benefit working music educators. "The MME is a practitioner's degree," Barry E. Kopetz, head of the Department of Music in the university's College of Education, said in a news release. "Full-time graduate students should be able to complete the program over three consecutive summers on the MSU campus. Separate concentrations will be available in choral, elementary and instrumental music, he said. The 32-hour curriculum includes 14 hours of core courses, eight hours in the chosen concentration and 10 hours of electives, Kopetz said.
How Mississippi State contributed to Leflore County plane crash response
The Statewide Emergency Response System tapped Mississippi State University veterinarians to assist with the federal and state disaster response to the July 10 military plane crash in Leflore County. The military plane crashed in Mississippi near Itta Bena, killing 16 people. The MSU College of Veterinary Medicine's Disaster Animal Response Team provided care to military and federal canines that were searching for debris at the crash site, which extends through several miles of fields. CVM associate professor of pathobiology and population medicine Carla Huston led the response team and said the team was called on Saturday, July 15 and finished their services at noon on Friday, July 21. The team provides support and treatment if there are not local veterinarians available or if its help is requested.
Ruby, Wiseman to lead MSU Retired Faculty Association
Retired Mississippi State Vice President for Student Affairs Roy H. Ruby was elected 2017-18 president of the MSU Association of Retired Faculty at the organization's summer meeting on July 18. Joining Ruby in ARF leadership positions for the coming year are Vice President Marty Wiseman, retired director of the Stennis Institute of Government; Secretary Margo Swain, retired professor of social work; Treasurer Joe Street, retired MSU Extension Service associate director; and Past President Lawrence Croft, retired professor of physics. Retired professor of plant pathology Vernon Ammon was named to a five-year term on the ARF board of directors, joining previously serving board members Elizabeth Hawkins, Albert Allen, Gloria Reeves and Jimmy Abraham.
Just one week left to purchase bricks at Mississippi State's Junction
Mississippi State University supporters have an opportunity to leave a lasting mark at the Junction at MSU and benefit scholarships by purchasing customizable bricks and pavers for the Compass Scholars Walk. Orders will be accepted until Aug. 1. The newly-paved walkway south of Davis Wade Stadium is named after the Compass Scholarship Program which helps the university attract high-performing students. For more information, contact Jana Berkery, director of the university's annual giving program, at 662-325-5975.
Cappe's in the Park coming to Technology Boulevard
Cappe's Steak and Seafood on Eckford Drive plans to open a second location in Thad Cochran Research, Technology and Economic Development Park in the second week of August. The expansion will be named Cappe's in the Park and will set up shop at 60 Technology Blvd. when The Cake Box Eatery moves to its new location on Russell Street. Owner Eric Hallberg said he hopes Cappe's in the Park will help expand their customer base as well as catering operations.
Despite rainy weather, produce markets thrive in Meridian
Gerri Ciancanelli was driving through downtown Meridian on a July morning when she spotted a watermelon. Figuring that a watermelon probably doesn't dwell alone, she decided to stop and investigate, and soon she was purchasing produce at the Meridian Area Farmer's Market at Union Station. Vendors come to the Meridian Area Farmer's Market at Union Station, under the bridge, from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Saturday, from mid-April through the first Saturday of November. Coordinated by the Mississippi State University County Extension, in Lauderdale County, the Meridian Area Farmer's Market features okra, tomatoes, peppers, peas, corn and plenty of other offerings. Patty Swearingen, Lauderdale County coordinator for the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said the 14 vendors who are members of the Meridian Area Farmer's Market enjoy the loyalty of regular customers --- but she senses an untapped cache of clients.
Broadband Could Help Rural Emergency Workers Communicate
The First Responders Network Authority -- known as FirstNet -- is an emergency broadband communications network authorized by Congress in 2012. Senator Roger Wicker says the idea grew out of frustration during emergencies like 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina when relief workers had trouble communicating with each other. "They couldn't talk to each other, and that was a grave problem in saving lives and racing against the clock," said Wicker. Wicker says when the network is complete, it will help first responders save lives and protect communities. Broadband access is an important issue in Mississippi, not just for emergency workers. According to Mississippi State University, Mississippi has the worst high-speed internet access in the country. One out of every three people in the state couldn't access high-speed internet, even if they wanted to, and that includes emergency personnel. Roberto Gallardo is with the MSU Extension Service. He says too many rural Mississippians may miss out on opportunities because they lack broadband access.
MDOT grants to bolster area transportation systems, including SMART
Four Golden Triangle transportation hubs and systems will receive a combined $666,761 in Mississippi Department of Transportation grants to help bolster their infrastructure and efforts, Northern District Transportation Commissioner Mike Tagert announced Thursday. The Mississippi Transportation Commission recently approved the grant awards to numerous regional and municipal airports, ports, waterways, public transportation systems and railroads, and local recipients include the Columbus-Lowndes County Airport, Golden Triangle Regional Airport, Lowndes County Port and Starkville-Mississippi State University Area Rapid Transit (SMART) system.
Five candidates emerging for Oktibbeha's circuit clerk race
Five Oktibbeha County residents have either qualified for November's circuit clerk race or announced their intentions to run for the vacant position. Starkville Municipal Court Clerk Tony Rook was the first candidate to announce his intentions and qualified to run this week after supervisors appointed former Circuit Clerk Angie McGinnis to serve in the interim and set the special election for Nov. 7. Teresa Davis, who unsuccessfully ran for the position in 2011, also qualified this week. Three other expected candidates -- Deputy Elections Clerk Sheryl Elmore and Brickfire Project Executive Director Cheikh Taylor and Elaine Boykin Turner, an administrative assistant at Mississippi State University -- said they will qualify as early as next week.
Lisa Wynn announces bid for vacant District 38 House seat
Lisa Wynn is the first candidate to qualify for Nov. 7's special election for District 38's vacant Mississippi House of Representatives seat. The former Ward 2 alderman filed her qualification forms Friday with the secretary of state's office in Jackson. On Wednesday, Gov. Phil Bryant tacked on the special election to the ballots in Clay, Lowndes and Oktibbeha counties after former Rep. Tyrone Ellis, D-Starkville, stepped away from the position at the beginning of the month. Speculation over Wynn's bid for Ellis' seat began last year, when the then-alderman said she would not attempt a run for Starkville's opening mayoral seat so she could possibly in the future run for a higher office. The qualification deadline is Sept. 18.
Neshoba's giant house party in high gear
Mississippi's giant house party might not have the fanfare of 2016. But, it's still a must visit event for families across the Magnolia State. A year ago, Donald Trump, Jr. made a campaign appearance at the Neshoba County Fair. And media from around the nation covered his appearance. Less than four months later, his father became the 45th President of the United States. This year is not a political year in Mississippi. So, the political stumping is not nearly as significant as it can be. Yet, this Wednesday and Thursday, people will gather under the pavilion at Founders Square and listen to a series of speeches from Mississippi's elected leaders. On Wednesday, Jim Hood and Tate Reeves speak back-to-back. The next morning, Gov. Bryant gives his annual Neshoba County Fair address.
The Neshoba County Fair: A special place for many
It is known as "Mississippi's Giant House Party," and for many local families, the Neshoba County Fair is a special time to go to Philadelphia for a week of fun and family. The Neshoba County Fair began July 21 and continues through July 28 this year at the Neshoba County Fairgrounds in Philadelphia. Residents, as well as friends and family throughout the state (and nation in some cases) make the trip each year. While those with cabins tend to make or bring homemade delights as friends and family gather for family meals, there's still plenty of Fair food to go around. Food isn't the only thing that keeps local families making the trip to the Neshoba County Fair year after year, but it is a big factor.
Some hope sports betting boosts sluggish casino revenue
Some believe allowing sports betting at Mississippi casinos could be a big boost for the state's gambling industry that has stalled in recent years. In the 2017 session, the Mississippi Legislature, unbeknownst to most legislators, passed a bill that was signed into law by Gov. Phil Bryant apparently legalizing sports betting at casinos. The stated intent of the legislation was to legalize fantasy sports and place the regulatory authority of fantasy sports play with the Mississippi Gaming Commission. But apparently, according to nearly every expert, the legislation also legalizes sports betting on teams and events and places the regulatory authority with the Gaming Commission. Sports betting would be contingent, though, on the U.S. Supreme Court striking down a federal law that bans sports betting in most states. The Supreme Court is slated to hear that case later this year or early in 2018.
Board of Cosmetology trying to clip its own bureaucratic backlog
A Mississippi agency that many people describe as a bureaucratic nightmare is getting a long-needed makeover. The state Board of Cosmetology recently hired a new executive director, and she is working to clear up a backlog of licensing problems. Technology workers have also finished the agency's conversion to a new computer system to handle licensing applications for people who earn a living helping others look good. Several legislators say they have been inundated with complaints about slow licensing and horrid customer service from the Board of Cosmetology under two previous executive directors. "We've had problems with them the past several years," said Republican Sen. Dean Kirby of Pearl, who has oversight of the agency as chairman of the Public Health Committee.
Lobbying revenues rise despite congressional gridlock
President Donald Trump and congressional Republicans' inability to shepherd major legislation through Congress doesn't seem to be hurting the swamp. Most of Washington's top lobbying firms saw their revenue rise in the second quarter, after fears among some corporations and lobbyists --- and hopes among some Trump supporters -- that the president's election in 2016 would curb Washington's influence industry. "There's still a high level of uncertainty," said Elizabeth Gore, chairwoman of Brownstein Hyatt's government relations practice. So companies continue to shell out on lobbyists to make sure they have a voice in Trump's Washington. Some firms -- including those with former Trump campaign staffers on board -- have already seen big leaps in business. BGR Group, a leading Republican-leaning firm co-founded by former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, brought in $5.7 million in the second quarter, up from $5 million in the first quarter and $4.5 million in the second quarter of 2016.
Analysis: Senators Writing Placeholder Defense Money Bill
Senate appropriators' forthcoming Pentagon spending bill for fiscal 2018, which will contain tens of billions of dollars less than the House's measure, should be taken seriously, but not literally. The Senate spending panel's defense funding proposal is likely to grow, assuming -- as is likely -- that an agreement to slightly raise the budget caps is reached, as it has been for every year since the caps called for by the sequester were enacted in 2011. In the meantime, however, the Pentagon and its contractors would be wise to take the Senate appropriators' number seriously in this respect: the other three defense bills, with their huge proposed increases in the defense budget, are mere fiction until the budget caps are revised upward. "Negotiations with Congress and the president may eventually produce a new budget agreement," said Senate Appropriations Chairman Thad Cochran of Mississippi at a committee markup on Thursday. "Until such time, however, it is reasonable that we move forward using fiscal year 2017 funding levels."
USDA research generates 244 new inventions
USDA has released a 559-page Technology Transfer Report outlining the public release and adoption of information, tools and solutions developed through USDA's agricultural research efforts, collaborative partnerships and formal Cooperative Research and Development Agreements. "USDA's made-in-America research gives us new technology that creates business opportunities and private sector jobs in both agriculture and other sectors," said Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue. "Studies show that every dollar invested in agricultural research returns $20 to our economy. Just like the crops that come up out of our soil, these inventions and innovations were made in America." USDA research generated 244 new inventions and 109 patent applications in the 2016 fiscal year.
'Nutrition is for Everyone' at Southern Miss will reach out to people with disabilities
Mississippi has joined a pilot program designed to provide nutrition education to people with disabilities, their families and communities. The Institute for Disability Studies at the University of Southern Mississippi will head Mississippi's efforts on "Nutrition is for Everyone" -- which was started last year in Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Tennessee. "Over the next year, we'll have events around the state to get people involved," said the institute's nutrition ambassador, Alma Ellis. "We'll have tasting events for people with disabilities, their families and their caregivers to taste healthy fruits and vegetables." The institute received a grant from the Walmart Foundation to work with the Association of University Centers on Disabilities in Maryland on the outreach.
Jackson State Students Will Keep Scholarships for Current School Year
Returning and continuing Jackson State University students with scholarships and out-of-state fee waivers will get to keep their same financial awards for the upcoming 2017-2018 school year. Students received an email Thursday morning with the news, the Jackson Free Press confirmed. Incoming JSU President William Bynum said enrollment and application numbers had dropped last week at a press conference due in part to scholarship changes. Due to financial strains, the university was forced to make administrative and department cuts, eliminating 42 non-faculty positions earlier this year. Additionally, the Clarion-Ledger reported two weeks ago that the university would no longer offer out-of-state fee waivers to children of lifetime alumni association members. Now the new administration seems to have reversed that decision.
Officials break ground on Statesmen Boulevard at Delta State
Wednesday afternoon with slight summer sprinkles, Delta State University held a groundbreaking ceremony as the school announced it would begin construction on Statesmen Boulevard. Delta State University Athletic Director Ronnie Mayers said Statesmen Boulevard would enhance the overall atmosphere during sporting events. "What this is going to do for us is it's really going to improve the game day experience for our fans and make a safer venue for everybody to come to our athletic events. It's going to give us a clean, fresh look. When we're out trying to get those advertising dollars and trying to get people to support a Delta State athletic program, it really helps people want to be a part of it when you have real nice venues and they'll what to advertise with you and help you with those events." Mayers said he is excited about what Statesmen Boulevard will do for recruiting. Dick Hall, the Central District Commissioner of the Mississippi Department of Transportation, said Statesmen Boulevard should make things safer for transportation and parking.
Civil rights veterans highlight role of Rust College during movement
For Frank Smith and other civil rights workers, Rust College offered a "safe haven" as they braved the dangers of registering blacks to vote in Mississippi. It was at the state's oldest historically black college and university that Smith was allowed during the 1960s to set up an office for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and help organize the black community in Holly Springs. "This school was committed to the civil rights movement," said Smith, who was a field secretary for SNCC in Mississippi. Smith was a panelist earlier this week at a forum on Rust College and its role in the civil rights movement. The event was part of the March on Washington Film Festival, a 10-day celebration of the civil rights movement then and now. The festival ended Saturday.
2017 career expo adds public hours, directory
As the CREATE Foundation prepares for its third "Imagine the Possibilities" Career Expo, those organizing the event are focused on extending its reach. The event will now be open to the public for a specified period of time. Previously, only eighth-grade students, educators and select other students have been able to attend the career expo. The three-day event exposes more than 7,000 eighth-grade students from CREATE's 17-county area to more than 100 careers from a range of different career pathways through hands-on experiences. The event is funded by the Toyota Wellspring Education Fund, and businesses and professionals from Northeast Mississippi volunteer their time to participate. More businesses from the Golden Triangle Region will also be included in the expo this year.
Auburn aviation students head to largest air show in North America
A group of students who represent Auburn University in the sky also has a strong presence at the largest air show in North America. Five members of the Striped Wings, Auburn aviation's student ambassador group, are leaving today for the EAA AirVenture Oshkosh air show in Wisconsin. Oshkosh is the second-largest gathering of aviation enthusiasts in the world, following only the Paris Air Show. This is the fourth consecutive year Auburn has represented at the show, and the third year since the Striped Wings were founded in spring 2015. "In my first year, almost every person we talked to (said), 'I didn't know Auburn had an aviation program," said student Michael Rogers, director of the Striped Wings. "After almost two and a half years now, we've seen the fruits of our labor. I think the aviation center has seen a lot of growth. People are finally starting to realize that we're here. We're not a well-kept secret anymore. We've been trying to change that for a long time, and we're finally getting some work done."
LSU scientists look for shreds of tiny plastic in Mississippi River
Mark Benfield peered into the tea-colored water inside the specimen jar. Skimming the Mississippi River near LSU produced the usual results -- pollen, twigs, kernels of corn. The collection site is downstream of the Baton Rouge industrial district and the port, as well as the wastewater and stormwater outfalls. But Benfield focused on some small white specks -- the small beads and tiny strands of plastic that litter the Mississippi River. His team of LSU scientists has been able to able to quantify much of this particular pollution on the Mississippi. For example, they've found far higher concentrations of pollutants in New Orleans relative to Baton Rouge. Their working theory is that riverside plants are spilling minute plastic products into the river, though they lack the data to finger any particular site.
U. of Tennessee: HELP line concerns resolved
When Ashley Blamey heard that students and staff at the University of Tennessee Knoxville were concerned about not being able to reach anyone on the campus' 974-HELP line on nights and weekends, she was worried. "My focus was: I want to know what's happening, I want to fix it and I want to make sure it's clear to our community," said Blamey, assistant vice chancellor for Student Life and deputy Title IX coordinator. She also currently serves as the director of the Center for Health Education and Wellness, or CHEW. The 974-HELP line, housed in CHEW, is UT's phone line that students, faculty, staff, and parents can call if they have a concern or are worried about the safety and well-being of a student. The line is in operation 24/7, but a report released last month evaluating Title IX resources and programs at UT said students and staff at UT Knoxville reported concerns about failing to reach someone when calling the line at late hours or over the weekend.
New study attempts to show how much state funding cuts push up tuition
Have public funding cuts caused colleges and universities to raise tuition? It's a deceptively simple question. And it's caused two different camps to dig in, look at similar data and yell past each other with very different answers. Various battles have been fought over issues such as whether using different inflationary indexes to adjust data will lead to different conclusions. But there has been surprisingly little work done to try to pin down the exact rate at which public appropriations cuts are passed on to students through higher tuition. That's changing. New research in the journal Economics of Education Review finds the appropriation-cut-to-tuition pass-through rate has averaged 25.7 percent since 1987. In other words, for every $1,000 cut from per-student state and local appropriations, the average student can be expected to pay $257 more per year in tuition and fees.
Through their eyes
Angela Farmer, an assistant professor of educational leadership at Mississippi State, writes: "When one envisions a day in the life of a student currently attending class in a K-12 setting, several images come to mind. Often there are memories of classes and notes and bells. Some may reflect upon a favorite teacher or subject or extra-curricular activity. However, what is critical to note is that the individual is analyzing information in a context of how it used to be and not through the lens of how it is today. Few institutions have undergone the spectrum of changes placed upon schools since the dawn of the 21st century. While access to the Internet has dramatically changed the world as a whole, few adults fully appreciate the changes that immediate access to digital information, 24/7, has had on the classroom environment and the individual world of a student."
Casinos may get sports betting on the sly
Syndicated columnist Bill Crawford of Meridian writes: "Speaking of doofuses, did you see Geoff Pender's column entitled 'Did legislative leadership really fall for sports-betting rope-a-dope?' Or the earlier Mississippi Today story entitled 'Lawmakers: Didn't think law would legalize sports betting?' Lots of legislators are saying they didn't know the bill they passed this year to tax fantasy sports betting may open the door for Mississippi casinos to offer and control Las Vegas style sports betting. Governor Phil Bryant, Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves, and Speaker of the House Philip Gunn are saying that was not the intent of the law. So who are the doofuses? Legislators and state leaders for not knowing what they were doing? Or us, if we believe there was no skullduggery involved? Consider this..."
Room for improvement in America's discourse
Longtime Mississippi journalist Charlie Mitchell writes: "The weird thing about ad hominem responses is sometimes they trigger laughter and sometimes they trigger mortal combat. As evidenced by the fact that ad hominem Latin, there's nothing new about it. The translation is 'to the man' or, updated, 'to the person.' In the rules of debate, to respond with ad hominem is to attack the speaker, not what the speaker said. Use of ad hominem during a formal debate competition results in disqualification. Why? Because debates are about who presents the better argument. A personal attack is a flat-out dodge, a non-response. ... Fast forward to the age of social media and the opportunity to write comments on websites. Sometimes the first and rarely the second response has something to do with what was written, but rarely are there more than three cogent replies before the name-calling (ad hominem) begins. This trend, along with sometimes violent refusal to allow different viewpoints to be spoken, doesn't bode well."
Why politics for politics' sake rarely works
The Clarion-Ledger's Sam R. Hall writes: "Republicans in Congress are learning a lesson political leaders seem to forget quite easily: When it comes to actually leading, playing politics for politics' sake rarely works. The differences between electoral politics and leading are vast and, in many cases, require a completely different set of skills. It's easy to say what you are going to do, but it's quite a different thing to actually do it. Presidents often face this reality when transitioning from the campaign trail to the Oval Office. But this is not just a presidential problem, nor does it happen just to candidates who win and become officials. It is a problem of any leader -- or group of leaders -- who find themselves moving from the relatively easy job of orchestrating political theater to the incredibly difficult job of being in charge, such as a minority party who suddenly finds itself in the majority. In short, politicking is one thing; leading is another."
We passed what? Bum's rush legislation is bad policy
The Clarion-Ledger's Geoff Pender writes: "'We have to pass this bill so that you can find out what is in it.' Those words from then-U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi still raise the hackles of Republican opponents of Obamacare. Justified or not, they've become a meme for ill-informed lawmakers voting on half-baked legislation without proper vetting. But voting in a bum's rush on major policy that hasn't been thoroughly formed, vetted or debated -- or, at times, even read -- is becoming more common on both sides of the aisle, and it isn't limited to Congress and D.C. It's become the norm in the Mississippi Legislature in recent years."

Position battles to watch in Mississippi State fall camp
Dan Mullen didn't say whether or not he actually liked that Mississippi State starts practice on July 25. But he is a fan of the opportunity to start practice this early after a new rule in April that eliminated two-a-days in preseason practice. "Every school is different and there is so much variety with the different schools so the more flexibility, the more we are not put in these boxes with these rules (is for the better)," Mullen said. "This allows us to build a schedule that is best for the players and I like that." Mullen said he went to the head trainer, strength coach and assistant coaches -- in that order -- and asked each what the best schedule would be for health, performance and teaching reasons, respectively. He then merged those thoughts together with his own along with the academic calendar. And that's why Mississippi State starts practice Tuesday.
Kylin Hill wants to be in mix at RB for Mississippi State
Seniors Ashton Shumpert and Brandon Holloway combined for 106 carries -- roughly 21 percent -- of the Mississippi State football team's rushing offense last season. Kylin Hill wants to be the one to fill that gap. The freshman running back from Columbus High School won't be fazed by competition for playing time. His coaches won't be scared to throw him into the mix, either. "We'll get him here, give him every opportunity and see how he does," MSU running backs coach Greg Knox said in the spring. "He's going to get every shot to show us how good he is, how quickly he can pick up the offense and how well he can produce." Hill knows the task he will face learning the playbook. "It's not like high school," Hill said. "You really have to sit down and learn it."
Erroll Thompson loves Mississippi State's new defense
When Mississippi State decided to make a change with its defensive coordinator in the offseason, linebacker Erroll Thompson waited anxiously to find out who his new coach would be. The wait was over on Jan. 11 when veteran coordinator Todd Grantham came on board to head the Bulldogs' defense and coach the linebackers. "I was wondering who it was going to be and what kind of style he was going to bring in," Thompson said. "Since coach Grantham has been here, it's been great. He has a great reputation." When spring began it was just like starting over for Thompson following his redshirt fall. The 6-foot-1, 250-pounder had to learn a new defensive scheme all over again just as he was beginning to grasp the previous playbook by Peter Sirmon. Thompson fared well during his first test in the new defense this spring. The Florence, Alabama native tied for the team lead with eight tackles, including a sack, during the spring game.
10 most important Bulldogs: No. 2 Donald Gray
Mississippi State is starting practice on July 25, but there is still time between then and now with the completion of SEC Media Days only adding to the thirst and anticipation for this season. Looking ahead to Mississippi State's start of practice for this fall, The Clarion-Ledger counts down the 10 most important Bulldogs in 2017. For the next 10 days, we count down the players who matter the most to the success of Mississippi State football in 2017. This is not a straight talent evaluation --- each player's role matters: No. 2, Donald Gray.
Auburn opponent preview: Mississippi State
This is the fifth in a 12-part series taking a look at each of Auburn's regular season opponents before the start of fall camp on July 30. After playing its SEC home opener in Week 2 last season, Auburn won't get to it until Week 5 this year when it hosts Mississippi State at Jordan-Hare Stadium. Here's what the Tigers will face when they host the Bulldogs on Sept. 30... Mississippi State returns a lot of its core on offense after a 6-7 (3-5 SEC) season in 2016, but will have a lot to replace on defense going into Year 9 under head coach Dan Mullen. Quarterback Nick Fitzgerald and top running back Aeris Williams are going into their second season as full-time starters, but last year's top tackler (Richie Brown) and pass-rusher (Johnathan Calvin) were both lost to graduation.
Mississippi State women's basketball team's historic victory whets appetite for more
The Mississippi State women's basketball team is still the national runner-up. Pinch yourself MSU fans if you thought the last month of the 2016-17 season was a dream. Don't worry, it wasn't. A lot of the memories from MSU's run through the Sweet 16 of the NCAA tournament in Oklahoma City and its victory against four-time reigning national champion Connecticut have come back into focus this month after MSU won the Best Upset ESPY for its 66-64 overtime victory against UConn in the national semifinals. The victory was part of a school-record 34-win season that saw coach Vic Schaefer's team earn 13 wins in the Southeastern Conference, which also is a program-best mark. To say MSU took over American Airlines Center in Dallas would be an understatement.

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