Start time: 3:00 pm
Live Stream: WatchESPN.com
Live Audio: Gamecock IMG Sports Network
In a lot of ways, this was completely expected. South Carolina, the top seed in the SEC women’s tournament, going up against Mississippi State, the second seed, in the finals. And aside from the Gamecocks nearly letting Kentucky come all the way back in their semifinal game yesterday, it’s been a relatively drama-free stay in Greenville for both teams. Carolina will be the de facto home team in this one as they’ll be playing just over 90 minutes from Columbia, but expect this game to go either way.
How they got here: South Carolina blew past Georgia 72-48 in a game that wasn’t even that close. They then held a double-digit lead against Kentucky and saw it dwindle to three before pulling away for an 89-77 win. A’ja Wilson is currently making a strong play for tournament MVP after a 18-point, seven-rebound outing against the Dawgs and a 26-point, eight-rebound performance last night to help put the Wildcats away.
The Lady Bulldogs blitzed LSU 78-61 in the quarterfinals before a 66-50 win over Texas A&M last night. With their win last night, they broke a program record with their 29th win of the season. Mississippi State lost back-to-back games before the tournament to see their NCAA seeding take a hit, but they’ve come off the mat and looked dominant thus far in Greenville.
What’s at stake: It’s likely that the winner of this one will have made a strong case to the committee to give them a #1 seed in the Big Dance. Charlie Creme’s bracketology early (very early) yesterday morning slotted Carolina as a #1 and the Lady Bulldogs as a #2. Expect that to flip-flop if Mississippi State is able to get the win this afternoon at Bon Secours Wellness Arena.