Mississippi State WBB heads to NCAA Tournament, will play Illinois in play-in game

The Mississippi State women’s basketball team, in Sam Purcell’s first season, is heading to the NCAA Tournament. They’re heading to South Bend, Indiana and will play Illinois in a play-in game. The Bulldogs will play No. 6 Creighton if they win. The Bluejays finished third in the Big East with a 21-12 record (14-6 in conference).

No. 3 Notre Dame hosts and will battle No. 14 Southern Utah.

This is the first NCAA Tournament appearance for the Mississippi State women’s basketball team since the 2018-19 season (The Bulldogs were 27-6, 13-3 in SEC play in 2019-20 but the NCAA Tournament was canceled that year due to the COVID-19 pandemic).

State finished the season with a 20-10 overall record. The Bulldogs were 9-7 in SEC play and Sam Purcell is the winningest first-year coach in the program’s history. Under Purcell’s leadership, Jessika Carter was named to the All-SEC Second Team, while Debreasha Powe was named to the SEC All-Freshman team. Mississippi State was predicted to finish eighth in the SEC (media poll) and ended up finishing fifth.

The Bulldogs and Illini will square off on Wednesday.

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