The NCAA Selection Committee announced their first rankings of the season Thursday Night which featured 6 SEC Teams. It was no surprise that Mississippi State was named a #1 seed, but it was a minor surprise that the Bulldogs were ranked ahead of the Louisville Cardinals. The Bulldogs were named the #1 seed to the Kansas City Regional.
If the #ncaaW season ended today...— NCAA Women's BKB (@ncaawbb) January 19, 2018
Mississippi St. would be the No. 2 overall seed & No. 1 in the Kansas City Region. pic.twitter.com/kDe0FgOiLY
Mississippi State has a better RPI and a better SOS than the Cardinals, so it should not be a big surprise that State is ahead of Louisville. Interestingly enough Mississippi State has already defeated one of the committees #1 seeds, Oregon.
The Top-4 Seeds if the #ncaaW season ended today:— NCAA Women's BKB (@ncaawbb) January 19, 2018
* Mississippi St
* Oregon pic.twitter.com/iAshHoPNv8
Louisville will travel to Storrs, CT on February 12th. So it is guaranteed that only two teams can remain unbeaten going into the NCAA Tournament. Mississippi State appears to be on track to return to the Final Four in 2018. They have done everything that they have needed to do so far: win. Their toughest game of the regular season will come on Sunday in Knoxville, TN. Tennessee was the highest ranked 2 seed by the selection committee.
NCAA's top 16:— ESPN Women's Hoops (@ESPN_WomenHoop) January 19, 2018
2. Mississippi State
6. Notre Dame
8. South Carolina
10. Ohio State
11. Florida State
14. Texas A&M
Joining Tennessee are fellow SEC teams South Carolina, Georgia, Missouri, and Texas A&M. State will host South Carolina and Texas A&M while they will have to travel to Columbia, MO the Thursday before the exciting home game against South Carolina. No worries, South Carolina plays UConn before they play State. Mississippi State opened up the conference season in Athens, Georgia and handed the Bulldogs their only conference loss.
Do you know what is really nice? This headline from the NCAA’s official Website:
Does that not just sound glorious? I love it. It needs to stay this way. And State will have to avenge a 82-64 Senior Day loss to the Lady Vols to keep their #2 ranking. And a win on Sunday feels like much more than another game. With South Carolina already having 2 conference losses, and Tennessee having the ability to lose their 2nd, it feels like State is in prime position to win their first ever Southeastern Conference Title. And that should be a big goal for these Bulldogs of Mississippi State.
Notre Dame just overcame their largest comeback in school history (23 points) to beat Tennessee 84-70. State goes to #5 Tennessee on Sunday. Going to be a tough one.— Will Larsen (@wlarsen24) January 19, 2018
Tennessee is 1-2 coming off a 3 game road trip against committee ranked teams Texas A&M, South Carolina, and Notre Dame. They could not close it out against Notre Dame, but make not mistake that there was a reason they had a 23 point lead on the road against the #5 team in the first place. They are a great team with incredible players. The Lady Vols are the class of the league by far historically and only UConn has an argument against them historically in basketball success.
Beating Tennessee simply does not happen often for any Women’s Basketball Team. South Carolina has only succeeded 6 times, and failed to beat them at home last Sunday. Mississippi State just beat Tennessee for only the 3rd time in school history last season. State has the better team and the better coach. They just have to execute to win. And these ladies have given me 0 doubt to think that they won’t be ready to avenge last season’s gut-wrenching loss.