The Bulldogs are advancing to the national title game after defeating the Louisville Cardinals 73-63 in overtime. Mississippi State, meanwhile, has beaten its tournament opponents by an average of 22.5 points so far, including a 45-point shellacking of Nicholls State in the first round. The Bulldogs upset the undefeated UConn Huskies in the national semifinals a year ago, but then fell to SC in the championship.
Mississippi State is back in the Final Four for the second straight season, Louisville returns for the first time in five years.
For the fourth time in the NCAA women's basketball tournament, all four No. 1 seeds are in the Final Four. Throughout that time, McCowan scored 21 points and grabbed 25 rebounds, setting a record in the Final Four.
The Bulldogs will take on the victor of UConn-Notre Dame in the championship game on Sunday.
With virtually the same guard-strong lineup as a year ago, the Bulldogs are back in the Final Four seeking more.
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"We're in the Final Four, you gotta dig deep", McCowan told ESPN after the game.
"It's been the same thing that we've been doing from day one, from the first game", Louisville star guard Asia Durr said. She is averaging 18.7 points and shooting 41.8 percent from the 3-point line. "We're all in, but this is just another game for us".
Senior guard and All-American first teamer Victoria Vivians has also averaged 20.25 points for Mississippi State in the tournament, while fellow senior Morgan William, who hit the game-winning buzzer beater to beat UConn in last year's Final Four, has averaged 14 points in the tourney. That shot rattled out anyway, but the points stands. Louisville's closest game in this tournament was an 18-point win over Marquette in the second round. I can't play defense on her. "If you want to fight, if you want to just complain and say, oh, she's taller than me".
Myisha Hines-Allen had to know it was all but over the moment no whistle was blown after she was muscled into the backstop on that layup attempt in the closing seconds of regulation.
"They're extremely multi-dimensional, multi-talented, can do a lot of things to hurt you", the Mississippi State coach said.