STARKVILLE, Miss. (WCBI/MSU Athletics) – More history was made Monday night as the Mississippi State women’s basketball team received a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament for the first time.
The Bulldogs will host the first and second rounds for the third-straight year, welcoming Nicholls State, Oklahoma State and Syracuse to Humphrey Coliseum.
State opens play against 16-seed Nicholls State Saturday at 5 p.m. CT on ESPN2. Eight-seed Syracuse faces No. 9 seed Oklahoma State in the opening game at 2:30 p.m. CT.
“I’m really proud of our kids and appreciate the committee’s consideration,” Vic Schaefer said. “Our schedule, especially non-conference, was very difficult. Two of those same teams, Syracuse and Oklahoma State, we played really good ballgames with. If we get past Nicholls State, then we will have to play one of them. You get a conference champion in Nicholls State, and I’m very familiar with them. They have had a great year.
“I’m excited to play on a Saturday instead of a Friday afternoon. We won’t need to write any excuses for people to get out of work. I’m thrilled to have 10,000 fans in here for an NCAA Tournament game.”
The Bulldogs are the top seed in the Kansas City region and will be facing Nicholls State for the second time, with the lone meeting coming in 1984.
Vic Schaefer’s squad hosted Oklahoma State on Dec. 3 in the Big 12/SEC Challenge, winning a 79-76 decision. State met Syracuse Dec. 21 in the Duel in the Desert in Las Vegas, claiming a 76-65 victory.
Mississippi State made history with its first No. 1 seed after putting together a 32-1 regular season that saw MSU win the first SEC regular-season championship in program history.
The Bulldogs went 30-0 in the regular season, the first SEC team to go undefeated in the regular season in 20 years. State went on to win 32-straight games, the second-longest win streak in school history and the second-most victories by an MSU squad.
Tickets are SOLD OUT for the entire Starkville Regional, a school spokesperson confirmed to WCBI on Monday evening.