Mississippi State Bulldogs vs. South Carolina Gamecocks
Date and Time: Sunday, April 2, 2017, 7 p.m. ET
Location: American Airlines Arena, Dallas, TX
WNCAA Tournament Odds: Pick 'Em, O/U 138.5
Mississippi State vs. South Carolina TV Coverage: ESPN
Holy moly. The Bulldogs once led by 16 over the Lady Huskies. They were only the fourth team in the last 112 games to lead UConn at halftime. They were the only one to push the Huskies to overtime since their winning streak started. And in the end, it was the tiniest player on the court who ultimately won the game. Morgan William knocked down a step back jumper at the buzzer in the extra frame to lead the Bulldogs to their greatest win ever, a 66-64 upset of the four-time defending champions.
MSU played the perfect game from start to finish, and there's just no denying how unbelievable the result was for a team that was a three-touchdown underdog.
South Carolina was the first to get into the National Championship Game by taking out Stanford. The Gamecocks got a little bit of help when Karlie Samuelson was rendered practically useless thanks to an ankle injury, but they really had to work hard to put aside a really stingy team.
This is nothing new for the Gamecocks. They've played fantastic defense throughout the NCAA Tournament by holding teams down to just 56.6 points per game. Their second half defense against Stanford? Virtually perfect. The Cardinal scored just 24 points in the second stanza and were basically rendered useless in an eight-point third quarter.
A Look Back
Each of these first two games between these teams featured a whole heck of a lot of defense. In the first clash in the middle of January, Mississippi State coach Vic Schaefer said to South Carolina coach Dawn Stanley, "I hope I see you in Dallas." Why? Because a 64-61 win by the Gamecocks went down as one of the best games of the regular season in women's college hoops.
The second game, a 59-49 victory for SC in the SEC Championship Game wasn't nearly as dramatic. A'ja Wilson has been unstoppable thus far in this series this year, scoring 41 points in the two duels to help lead the Gamecocks to their wins. She's been big here in the dance as well and will need to have a great game to put aside what is suddenly one of the trendiest teams in all of sports.
Mississippi State vs. South Carolina Free Picks
Mississippi State had to play the perfect game to beat the Huskies, and they're going to have to do the same to beat a very good South Carolina outfit as well after two defeats in the regular season. This is going to be a trendy pick for sure after the win against the Huskies, but we think the Bulldogs are going to have their day in this one.
With as confident as William is playing and for as much of a presence as Victoria Vivans has been shooting the ball from the outside, this could be the day that Mississippi State gets its championship.
The Bulldogs are going to have to be a little more efficient from the field against South Carolina than they were against the Huskies, particularly if they end up with as big of an edge on the glass in this one as they did on Friday night. But this is a really good team with a really good story, and it would only be fitting for it to end with a National Championship.
Mississippi State vs. South Carolina ATS Pick: Mississippi State PK at BookMaker.euMississippi State vs. South Carolina Score Prediction
: Mississippi State 69, South Carolina 66