Itty Bitty and Mississippi State Come up Big in Dallas to End UCONN's Season
One shot. One shot, that can bring down Goliath, one shot ends a NCAA Championship run, one shot ends a mind-boggling streak, one shot puts your team into the NCAA Championship game. If someone told you one person made that ONE SHOT as time expired who would you say it was, Jordan, Kobe, Curry, Magic, Bird? Those are all great guesses, but you’d be wrong. Friday night in Dallas Morgan William aka as Itty Bitty hit that one shot. Mississippi State alum Dak Prescott was on hand to see the Mississippi Bulldogs defeat UCONN in overtime. While the rest of the basketball world is still trying to comprehend Itty Bitty and Mississippi State’s she-handling of UCONN, William is moving on to the next Big Thing standing between her team becoming NCAA Champions for the First time in school history.
“I saw a replay of the shot and saw Dak (Prescott) after I made the shot. It is a great experience. I am trying to live in the moment right now and stay level headed.William said after her game-winning shot ended Connecticut’s chances at winning the National championship 5times in a row.
We still have business to take care of. Now we have to prepare for South Carolina because they are a great team as well,” William declared.
“It shows anyone can be beat. Their streak was amazing. I don’t think it was bad for women’s basketball. They are amazing. They set the standard. In order to compete with teams like that, you have to be higher yourself. Beating them shows that anyone can be beat and that women’s basketball is just getting even better. The competition is getting better.” Dominique Dillingham said while explaining what it was like to be part of this historic team.
It’s time to take care of business; we have unfinished business honestly. Today we are putting together a good game plan for South Carolina and we’re getting ready.” Dillingham said.
The general consensus in the Mississippi State locker room seems to be as big as the win against UCONN was there is still one more team standing between them and being NCAA Champions and as long as that holds true this team has unfinished business.
Mississippi State defeated reigning Connecticut 66-64 in overtime. The win ended UCONN's 111 game win streak, and the quest for a fifth consecutive NCAA title. Up next for the Bulldogs SEC rival South Carolina. The Gamecoks are 3-0 against the Bulldogs this season. Everyone wil be watching when the rivals take the court to see if Itty Bitty Morgan William can come up BIG again in Dallas on Sunday at 6 pm EST. Watch the game live on ESPN.
South Carolina watched the second half of the game at their hotel. South Carolina head coach Dawn Staley watch the game from press row. The Gamecocks' coaches and players weren’t scouting their next opponents they were just enjoying the game they love.
“That kid, she was a great story,” South Carolina guard Kaela Davis said. “She’s playing with a lot of heart. As a basketball fan, it was great,” Davis said. “It’s not very often that you see women’s basketball being top SEC play, where you’re seeing it everywhere on social media. Trending on Twitter. As a female basketball player, seeing that, it was a lot of excitement for me, not just knowing I’m playing that team next, but excited just as a basketball fan.”
“It was just great,” guard Allisha Gray said. “You like seeing games like that. Women’s basketball, like this whole NCAA tournament, has been full of surprises. You don’t always see that on the women’s side. It’s more on the men’s side. To see that, it’s just exciting being a basketball fan.”
A point UCONN coach Geno Auriemma made himself earlier in the week while discussing the current state of women’s basketball.
“Part of it has to be the competitiveness of the games, which that's what happened. It has to happen every year. The reason why the NCAA tournament on the men's side has been so compelling over the years is because of all the upsets that happen. You know, it's the upsets. It's the overtime games. That really attracts people. On the men's side, it happens all the time. It has to happen more often on the women's side. Not in our games, but it has to happen in every other game (laughter). I think that's kind of a starting point.” Coach Auriemma said.
An upset in overtime that showcases the competitiveness and skill of women’s basketball was exactly the shot in the arm the sport needed.
“I hope young girls that want to play this sport really watch that and just build their confidence to know they can be able to play on that level.” A’ja Davis said.
Davis and the South Carolina Gamecocks are also appearing in the Final for the first time in school history. South Carolina defeated Stanford 62-53 after overcoming a 9 point deficit at halftime.
“We built our reputation on defense,” Coach Dawn Staley said. “You’re going to have bad shooting nights at times. This was one of them… The second half, I thought we just imposed our will from a defensive standpoint, sped the game up and got to playing at a pace which benefited our style of play.”
The Championship game will be a defensive battle between two old friends who won't be in a friendly mood at 5pm in Dallas this Sunday. Sharone Taylor, one of the Bulldogs' faithful traveled from Jackson Mississippi to support Mississippi State "We play them hard, we know them well, and it's going to be a great game. Like Coach [Schaefer] says Praise God and Go DAWGS." Taylor said.