The Mississippi State women are on the doorstep of making it back the National Championship Game.
Tonight, the Bulldogs face off against fellow #1 seed Louisville in the Final Four with a chance at redemption on the line in Columbus, Ohio. In their “Elite Eight” matchup against UCLA, Teaira McCowan finished 23 points, 21 rebounds and proved to be unstoppable.
If the Cardinals double McCowan in the paint, the Bulldog shooters will need to step up and make them pay, With Victoria Vivians leading the way, they are more than capable. Head coach Vic Schaefer spoke with ESPN and realized how fortunate he is that McCowan and Vivians suit up for MSU.
“McCowan inside is a double-double machine,” Schaefer said. “She has had an incredible year. She’s had 26 double-doubles this year; she’s had had 30-20 games, numerous 20-20 games and her and (Vivians) are both very deserving of their All-American status that they have earned.”
It was in the Final Four last year that MSU shocked the UConn Huskies in OT, and now they must give this matchup everything they’ve got. Louisville was a consistent top-5 team all season long, and their only two losses came against ranked opponents; one of those losses was to #1 UConn. Cardinals’ head coach Jeff Walz says that his team is ready to play an up-tempo game tonight.
“I like what we’re doing at the offensive end. I like how we’re sharing the basketball, we’re making the extra pass,” Walz told ESPN. “We’re really getting downhill toward the basket, trying to get tempo, and that’s what we have to continue to do. I don’t want bad shots, but I do want the ball moving, I do want us playing quick.”
MSU will have to break through a stout Louisville defense that held their Elite Eight opponent, Oregon State, to just 46 points.
If Mississippi State can get past the Final Four they’ll either face Notre Dame or UConn.
Tip-off is set for 6:00 p.m.