Mississippi State has been waiting all season long, as the Bulldogs host Nicholls State to start off the tournament.
Tipoff is at 5:30 PM ET on ESPN 2
Seeding and Records
Mississippi State: 1 (32-1)
Nicholls State: 16 (19-13)
What to Watch For
Victoria Vivians as a scorer:
It’s no secret that Vivians has been on a mission. There’s a look in her eye that only so many have in March, as Vivians is sure to start off the tournament with a statement. She is a lethal scorer who can create her own shot with range, coupled with defensive dexterity and experience on both ends of the floor.
Her four year campaign at Mississippi State has been sensational, but nothing takes priority before a championship for Vivians. She will likely lead the team in scoring and make plays on defense, ultimately posting mind blowing numbers. Vivians has averaged north of 15 points in her career as a Bulldog, (19.7 this season), and that will only continue throughout the tournament. Look for Vivians to shine and give fans a performance for the ages under the bright lights.
Teaira McCowan on the boards:
McCowan has been a dominant force and one of the game’s best down low. The 6-foot-7 junior has recorded double-double after double-double, as teams have had no answer for her on the boards. She is a shot blocker with an attitude, well aware of Mississippi State’s ultimate goal.
McCowan will have her way in the paint, as Nicholls State has nobody above 6-foot-3 on their roster. If McCowan can overcome early nerves and hit free throws, she will be unstoppable.
Roshunda Johnson (Mississippi State’s Swiss Army knife):
Johnson has asserted as a reliable weapon on both ends of the floor. The Oklahoma State senior transfer has been consistent all season long with a prototypical Mississippi State mindset. Coach Vic Schaefer preaches tenacious defense and toughness game after game, as Johnson has lived up to expectations.
She has peaked at the right time and her confidence is sky high. Johnson could be the Bulldogs’ x-factor, as she has been Mississippi State’s unsung hero as of late. Look for Johnson to fill the stat line and give the Colonels fits all night long.
The Bulldogs enter the tournament as a No. 1 seed, but as seen on the men’s side, anything is possible. Having said that, Mississippi State is on a mission. There’s a bitter taste in their mouths after last year’s championship loss, and the Bulldogs are not looking back.
Nicholls State will give Mississippi State an early run for their money, as coach DoBee Plaisance will have the Colonels ready. That said, Mississippi State has no time for nonsense. Coming off an SEC tournament loss to the Gamecocks, the Bulldogs are in prime position to rebound and make a championship run. Mississippi State’s experience and depth will be too much for the Colonels to handle, as the Bulldogs will win convincingly in Starkville.