Mississippi State University is a special place for many and a special place for me. Throughout the 139 year University’s existence the athletic programs have come up with a total of ZERO team national championships.
We all remember the teams that were the closest. In 2014 the football team went on a magical run only to be stopped by Alabama. In 1996, the men’s basketball team reached the Final Four, only to be stopped in the National Semifinals to Syracuse. And in 2013, the Baseball team was two wins away from knocking off UCLA to win the first ever national championship in baseball. Before Friday Night, that 2013 Baseball Team was the closest team to ever come close to bringing home the hardware. That changed with one shot. A shot so loud that it changed the face of Mississippi State University for years to come.
EVERYONE was talking about Mississippi State’s win over Connecticut. I am not sure a lot of the Mississippi State fanbase understands the magnitude of last night’s win. This wasn’t just the fact that Mississippi State advanced to the Title game. Mississippi State ended the most dominant dynasty in college sports. And this is something that will be talked about for years and years to come.
Don’t believe me? Here is just a snapshot of the twitter reaction of Friday night’s historic game:
Mississippi State stuns UConn at the buzzer! (via @espn) pic.twitter.com/NDmnCIi5oV— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) April 1, 2017
Mississippi State fans right now: pic.twitter.com/fPD21twPz6— ESPN (@espn) April 1, 2017
Miss st women taking dwn Uconn is a bigger upset than USA mens hockey upset of the Russians, bigger than Gardner over Karelin .— shannon sharpe (@ShannonSharpe) April 1, 2017
Dak Prescott was among those who lost their minds when Mississippi State upset UConn. #MarchMadness https://t.co/VtVmPuaRuS— FOX Sports (@FOXSports) April 1, 2017
The Bulldogs are now 1-11 all time against #1 opponents. Notice how 1-11 looks like 111. Coincidence? I think not!
111-1— CBS Sports (@CBSSports) April 1, 2017
Hey Shep. Hail State.
.@ShepNewsTeam Hey Shep. Hail State.— SB Nation (@SBNation) April 1, 2017
Mississippi State has defeated #2 Baylor and #1 UConn to reach this point in their last two games. They take on #3 South Carolina today. And for any fans worrying about a UConn hangover, that is simply not going to be the case at all:
“We have Unfinished business” Dominique Dillingham said of the upcoming game against South Carolina. “Everybody put that(UConn Win) behind us and we are focused on South Carolina. It’s more important than UConn”
South Carolina has the Bulldogs full attention as the Bulldogs finally have an opportunity to face the Gamecocks away from the state of South Carolina. South Carolina has won 3 Team National Championships. 2 in Baseball(2010, 2011) and 1 in Women’s Outdoor Track and Field(2002). The Bulldogs have won 0. “It Just Means More” if Mississippi State were to win the National Championship.
So many Bulldog Fans have been craving for a National Title for years and years. And quite frankly, its appropriate that one of the most lovable teams in MSU History gets that very opportunity. Morgan William continues to win the hearts of fans and the media. Dominique Dillingham brings that extra hustle and energy that makes every Bulldog smile. And watching Teaira McCowan and her size having the ability to dominate the game is truly spectacular to watch.
Irregardless of what happens tonight, this will easily go down as one of the top 5 seasons in Bulldog History(with Friday’s win probably better). But a win tonight will cement this team’s legacy as the best in school history. And these Bulldogs deserve the proper treatment and respect for accomplishing what other Bulldogs could not do. For a program few fans knew existed five years ago, this turnaround envys any in any sport of any profession. And that is all thanks to Vic Schaefer who has made the culture at MSU believe they can win.
Who knows when the next time MSU will have a chance to play for the National Title in any sport. UConn isn’t going anywhere. In fact they will only get better. Mississippi State needs to capitalize right now. Bulldog fans like to talk about the “future” or “next year” as the opportunity to compete for a title. The “future” and “next year” is “now” and “this year”.
No Mississippi Team has reached the Men’s or Women’s Final Four besides Mississippi State. And no Mississippi Team has ever won a Division 1 National Championship. Tonight in Dallas Texas, where Dak Prescott is king, Mississippi State has the opportunity to change all of that. And it’s a moment that no Bulldog fan should take for granted. “Praise the Lord, and Go Dawgs!” Vic Schaefer’s signature line after post game interviews and press conferences. He’ll have every Bulldog fan shouting that with a win tonight.