The University of South Dakota women's basketball team is getting a taste of southern charm this week. The team is in Starkville, Miss. to compete in the NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament.
Starkville is 100% college town USA. It is home to Mississippi State. In the 2017 census the population was 25,352. That does incorporate some students. According to the college, 18,312 undergraduate students attend Mississippi State University.
Starkville is in the eastern-central part of the state, and it's 84 miles from Tuscaloosa, Ala.
If you ever find yourself in Starkville, you will learn immediately that almost everyone in town is passionate about their MSU Bulldogs, and for good reason, it's a beautiful campus with fantastic sports facilities.
Davis Wade Stadium is where the football team plays. It can seat 61,000+ fans. The baseball stadium is brand new, and is a site to see.
Mississippi State actually hold the current on-campus record for attendance at an NCAA baseball game. In 2014, 15,586 fans made it to a game. The baseball field is tucked right next to Humphrey Coliseum, where the basketball teams play.
The food-scene is also a little different in Mississippi. Crayfish, BBQ, shrimp and okra are common bites you will find on menus in town. There are 20+ unique restaurants to try out in town, many disputing that they have the best barbecue.
Despite the two being 1,000 miles apart, Vermillion and Starkville do have some similarities. The college-scene dominates both towns, and both schools have promising athletic teams and good education. Locals both support their teams, fly their team's colors and don't think their team is going to lose.
One thing Starkville does have right now though that Vermillion doesn't...beautiful green grass filling fairways of golf courses. Many Coyote fans were able to rent some clubs and enjoy the nice weather while down in Mississippi.
#8 USD plays #9 Clemson at 6 p.m. Friday. The game will be on ESPN2.