The Aggies are playing in the event for the first time and are trying to match the Texas A&M women's team -- which last week surprised both Tennessee and Kentucky to win the tournament title.
Texas A&M converted its last 10 foul shots and scored the game's final six points in setting up a meeting with Missouri in the second round Thursday. The Aggies improved to 18-14 with Alex Caruso adding 14 points.
Mississippi State opened the evening with a 70-59 decision over South Carolina. The Bulldogs (10-21) were led by Fred Thomas with 21 points.
Tennessee will meet Mississippi State in the second round on Thursday. The other matchups will find LSU taking on Georgia and Vanderbilt facing Arkansas.