Mississippi State will find out Monday if it’s a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament.
The tournament selection show is set for 6 p.m. on ESPN. That is when the field of 64 and individual seeds are revealed. After the regular season, 32 teams will qualify with automatic bids through conference tournaments. The remaining 32 teams will be selected as at-larges.
Last weekend, MSU (30-2) scored the most points ever in an SEC Tournament title game — and ended their own 0-4 mark when reaching the event finals. They took control with an 18-0 run in the first quarter against Arkansas and never gave the Razorbacks (20-14) hope for a comeback after losing the crown the last three years to South Carolina.
This time, regular-season SEC champ Mississippi State left little doubt about who’s the league powerhouse. The Bulldogs were up by 20 at the half and 25 through three quarters on their way to their ninth straight win over the Razorbacks.
It’s the year of the bigs in women’s college basketball and MSU’s Teaira McCowan is right up there with the best in the country. At 6 feet, 7 inches, few players are going to be able to match up with McCowan in March, and even fewer will be able to overcome her stifling defensive presence.
The Bulldogs have reached the past two title games, losing in tragic fashion after being up by as much as 15 to Notre Dame last year before Arike Ogunbowale’s shot broke their hearts. Despite graduating four seniors — Victoria Vivians, Blair Schaefer, Morgan William and Roshunda Johnson — this team has hardly skipped a beat, losing only two games this season and rolling Arkansas en route to a SEC tournament title.
MSU is one of eight teams that Sports Illustrated has picked as viable candidates to win it all this year.
Rarely has the No. 1 ranked team in the country received so little attention. But that’s where Baylor is right now.
Few teams can match the length that Baylor has inside as well as the threat that the Bears pose from the perimeter.
The others are, of course, UConn as well as Louisville, defending champ Notre Dame, which beat MSU in the finals last season, Stanford, Iowa and Oregon, which won at home against State early in the season.