Mississippi State Women's Basketball 2018 NCAA Tournament Capsule

Mississippi State Bulldogs

SEC (32-1, 16-0)

Mississippi State went into the 2017-18 season with a bigger target on its back after shocking the women’s hoops world by beating Connecticut in the national semifinals before falling to South Carolina. The Bulldogs were no longer going to be able to sneak up on anybody and under the leadership of head coach Vic Schaefer they went undefeated in the regular season at 30-0 heading into the SEC Tournament.
Big Wins: 12/13 Oregon (90-79), 1/21 at Tennessee (71-52), 2/5 South Carolina (67-53)
Bad Losses: 3/4 vs South Carolina (51-62)
Coach: Vic Schaefer
Why They Can Surprise:
Mississippi State has the depth to simply overwhelm teams at times throughout the game. The Bulldogs have about a nine-player rotation and the athletes to beat anyone on any given night when clicking on all cylinders. Victoria Vivians is an elite player that can take over a game if necessary as Vivians shoots the ball well at just under 50 percent on the season. Teaira McCowan is a double-double machine down in the low post and is averaging 17.7 points and 13.2 rebounds per game on the season. Roshunda Johnson and Blair Schaefer are excellent sharp shooters from behind the three-point arc and this keeps opposing defenses honest for four quarters. Defensive pressure is another great strength for Mississippi State as they are amongst the nation’s best in causing steals at just under nine per game on the season.
Why They Can Disappoint:
 If an opposing team can grind the tempo of the game down into the 50’s or 60’s then the Bulldogs could end up in harms way at some point in the NCAA Tournament. The only two teams able to pull that off this season were Missouri and Arizona State. The problem for the Tigers and the Sun Devils was their inability to generate enough offensively over the course of four quarters to pull off the victory. Foul trouble against a Connecticut or a Louisville could be an issue as well if Mississippi State were to play teams like that late in the NCAA Tournament.
Probable Starters:
Victoria Vivians, Senior, Guard, 19.6 ppg, 2.0 apg, 6.0 rpg
Morgan William, Senior, Guard, 7.5 ppg, 4.6 apg
Blair Schaefer, Senior, Guard, 9.5 ppg, 2.0 apg
Roshunda Johnson, Senior, Guard, 12.0 ppg, 2.4 apg
Teaira McCowan, Junior, Center, 17.7 ppg, 13.2 rpg, 2.0 bpg
Key Role Players:
Chloe Bibby, Freshman, Forward, 4.5 ppg, 2.3 rpg
Jazzmun Holmes, Junior, Guard, 4.7 ppg, 2.8 apg
Zion Campbell, Sophomore, Center, 2.3 ppg, 2.6 rpg
Jordan Danberry, Junior, Guard, 2.5 ppg
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 83.4 (7th in nation, 1st in conference)
Scoring Defense: 55.5 (19, 1)
Field-Goal Percentage: 47.6 (11, 1)  
Field-Goal Defense: 39.2 (117, 5)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 7.6 (63, 4)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 39.8 (6, 1)
Free-Throw Percentage: 73.9 (64, 3)
Rebound Margin: 6.2 (44, 5)
Assists Per Game: 16.2 (36, 1)
Turnovers Per Game: 10.9 (3, 1)
Recent Postseason Appearances:
2017    NCAA Round of 64 win over Troy
2017    NCAA Round of 32 win over DePaul
2017    NCAA Regional Semifinal win over Washington
2017    NCAA Regional Final win over Baylor
2017    NCAA National Semifinal win over Connecticut
2017    NCAA National Final loss to South Carolina
2016    NCAA Round of 64 win over Chattanooga
2016    NCAA Round of 32 win over Michigan State
2016    NCAA Regional Semifinal loss to Connecticut
2015    NCAA Round of 64 win over Tulane
2015    NCAA Round of 32 loss to Duke
2014    NIT     First Round win over Tulane
2014    NIT     Second Round win over Southern Miss
2014    NIT     Third Round win over Auburn
2014    NIT     Quarterfinal loss to South Florida
2010    NCAA Round of 64 win over Middle Tennessee State
2010    NCAA Round of 32 win over Ohio State
2010    NCAA Regional Semifinal loss to Florida State
2009    NCAA Round of 64 win over Texas
2009    NCAA Round of 32 loss to Ohio State
2008    NIT     Second Round loss to Southern Mississippi
2007    NIT     Second Round win over Tulane
2007    NIT     Third Round loss to Western Kentucky
2005    NIT     First Round loss to Arkansas State
*all team stats through 3/1