MSU women excited to be No. 2 seed
Dominique Dillingham knew it was coming.
Mississippi State’s senior guard sat inside the Humphrey Coliseum on Monday evening alongside her teammates and several hundred MSU fans as the Bulldogs learned their placement in this year’s NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament.
Then, there it was. MSU popped onto the big screen at center court as a No. 2 seed with opening round games to be played later this week here in Starkville.
“It’s exciting,” Dillingham said. “It’s the highest seed in school history and, just to see all our hard work pay off and see our name on the board, it’s incredible.”
Mississippi State is in the Oklahoma City Region, but for the second-straight season, MSU starts its postseason run on its home floor. State will host No. 15 seed Troy at 1:30 p.m. on Friday. That game follows an 11 a.m. contest between seventh-seeded DePaul and No. 10 seed Northern Iowa. The winners of the two games will meet on Sunday at a yet-to-be-announced time with a trip to the Sweet 16 on the line.
“We’re in an awfully good region and it’s going to be tough,” MSU head coach Vic Schaefer said. “This time of year though, everybody is good, so now we can go to work knowing who we’re going to play.
“We’ll go to work excited about the opportunity.”
The Bulldogs earned their NCAA Tournament chance following a 29-4 season. MSU won 10 of its 11 games inside the Humphrey Coliseum this season and is proud to have the opportunity to add to that total, even if the Friday game time isn’t exactly ideal.
“It’s hard to do,” Schaefer said of hosting. “It’s really an indication of just how hard it is and how much work these young ladies and my staff has put into this. I’m excited about playing. I hate that we have to play on a Friday afternoon at 1:30, but last year we had 5,100 (fans for the first game). I’m wanting 7,500 or 8,000. I may have to send out that letter again excusing everybody from the office early, but I’ll be glad to do that.”
If MSU can win its two games this weekend and earn a second-consecutive Sweet 16 appearance, the Bulldogs would go on to play games in Oklahoma City next weekend. Baylor sits as the region’s top seed, so if there are no upsets, a trip to the Final Four would go through the Lady Bears.
All that is down the road though. At this moment, it’s all about the present for MSU.
“I think we earned this,” Schaefer said. “I’m proud of what we did in our schedule to earn it, but now we have to go live it.”
Tickets for the action in Starkville are on sale now and can be ordered online at www.hailstate.com/tickets, with fans having the option to pick seats and print tickets at home.
Fans can also order tickets by calling the MSU ticket office at 1-888-GO-DAWGS.
All-session tickets cost $40 for adults and $18 for both youth age 17 and under and MSU students.
Individual game tickets go on sale Thursday.