Mississippi State returns to women's NCAA title game

03 April, 2018, 04:20 | Author: Keith Rowe
  • NCAA women's Final Four: UConn-Miss. St.; Notre Dame-Louisville in battles of #1 seeds

Mississippi State took advantage of the call, hitting both free throws to make it a three-point game.

Friday night had been historic.

All four No. 1 seeds advanced to the Final Four of the 2018 Women's NCAA Tournament. She is an All-American guard for the Louisville Cardinals, which take last year's runner-up Mississippi State tonight at 7 p.m.

The women's basketball national championship will be Sunday, April 1. "Just an unbelievable game".

Notre Dame Coach Muffet McGraw knows how tough that can be.

"When I hit the shot", she said, "I mean, it made me 1 for 3". We were spent. That was all the emotion that we had. We're just trying to have fun. And I think it was similar - any time you beat CT, because of the dominance of their program, it's just such an emotional win. By the time she got back to campus, she was a celebrity. You feel like that should have been the championship game.

Louisville's Jazmine Jones (23) grabs a rebound against Mississippi State's Victoria Vivians (35). The Cards also set a record for best start to a season, after they won their first 20 games of the year. They were here past year.

"It's been the same thing that we've been doing from day one, from the first game", Louisville star guard Asia Durr said.

Mississippi State has more recent practice at managing the emotions of a thrilling overtime win in a national semifinal, since it upset CT at the buzzer past year.


While the Cardinals don't have any players with Final Four experience, they're capable of adapting to any situation and pushing any opponent to the brink.

"Like we switched who was going to take the ball out two or three times, me and Jackie (Young)", she said. At this point in time, everyone's sore.

Whichever of these teams move on, they'll likely be the underdogs. "This year, we have that mentality of 'We don't care how you feel, we don't care how exhausted you are, how sore.' We have come together as a team and made a point to finish it off".

Coach Vic Schaefer said the Bulldogs are tempered by the fight in last year's tournament and a long, rigorous season that saw them to go 32-0 until losing to SC in the Southeastern Conference Tournament.

Louisville-Mississippi State will be carried nationally by Westwood One.

To compete Sunday, the Bulldogs will have to recover from one of the most physically demanding semifinal games imaginable.

Durr has been spectacular in the postseason in leading the Cardinals to the ACC Championship win over Notre Dame and throughout the four rounds of the NCAA Tournament. I don't care where she plays after this.

"I think even just watching my sister play, she used to say like, oh yeah, we always go to the Final Four, we have to go to the Final Four, and you know, my freshman year going to the Sweet 16 and losing I was like, 'Oh wow, we're the worst team ever, '" Mabrey said. Louisville won a share of the ACC regular season title and then won the ACC Tournament title.

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