"Bulldogs to Face Juggernaut Connecticut in the Sweet Sixteen" by SportsBlog | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS


Bulldogs to Face Juggernaut Connecticut in the Sweet Sixteen

The Mississippi State's women's basketball team defeated Michigan State 74-72 in the second round of the 2016 NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament on Sunday. The reward for that win is a date in Bridgeport, Conn. to face No. 1 overall seed the Connecticut Huskies at 10:30 a.m. on ESPN.

UConn defeated Duquense http://espn.go.com/womens-college-basketball/recap?gameId=400872291">97-51 Monday, March 21, and moved to 34-0 on the season. The Huskies also won their 71st straight game and reached the Sweet Sixteen for the 23rd straight time. Connecticut scored at least 20 points in all four quarters, and the Dukes never topped 20 points in a single quarter.

There might not be a more dominating force in all of sports right now than Connecticut women's basketball. The Huskies are seeking their fourth straight national championship.

Just how dominant have the Huskies been this season?

UConn has defeated every team on their schedule by 10 or more points this season. Only Notre Dame and Maryland lost by 10 points, and South Carolina lost by 12 points. The Gamecocks http://espn.go.com/womens-college-basketball/team/schedule/_/id/2579">beat Mississippi State by six and 14 points in their two meetings this season.

The Huskies haven't had a game where they failed to score 75 or more points all season long and have topped the century mark five times this season. UConn has also defeated nine ranked teams as they steamrolled the competition.

Even http://espn.go.com/chalk/story/_/id/14994410/in-vegas-bet-uconn-huskies-women-field">Las Vegas is all in for the Huskies to win it all. Just to win $100, you would have to bet $900 that UConn wins it all. One Vegas sports bookie is allowing those who bet to take the field or UConn, where a $100 bet against Connecticut would net $600 should the Huskies loose.

Things don't get much better for the Bulldogs due to the site of the game. UConn is 54-1 in games played in Connecticut and 9-1 in Bridgeport, where Mississippi State will play.

All of these numbers don't mean the Bulldogs can't shock the world and beat the mighty Huskies. What it does mean is that Mississippi State has to play the best game in program history.

The Bulldogs have to be perfect on defense, force turnovers, get steals and don't under any circumstances give UConn easy baskets. On offense, Mississippi State has to hit shots and can't go cold from the field for long stretches like it did against both Chattanooga and Michigan State in the team's first two tournament games.

It would also help if the Huskies had an off day and played a little sloppy and were cold shooting. Because even if everything goes right for Mississippi State, it will take a monumental effort to defeat the Huskies.

A win by Mississippi State would be the biggest upset in NCAA Tournament history for men or women. It would surpass, in my mind, the biggest upset ever when North Carolina State defeated heavily favored Houston and Phi Slamma Jamma and won the title.

If the Bulldogs do win, hopefully head coach Vic Schaefer will find someone to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ubCybJk-IAY">hug.

*CORRECTION: This story has been edited to reflect factcheck changes. The UConn women's basketball team goes by the Huskies, not the Lady Huskies. The MSU women's basketball team also goes by just the Bulldogs now. Also, the original piece said that no men's or women's Division I basketball team won more than three national championships in a row. The UCLA men's basketball team won seven straight national championships from 1967-1973. The Jackson Free Press apologizes for these errors.


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