Women's Final Four: Mississippi State pulls off stunning upset of UConn

By Ron Clements 1 April 2017 238
Women's Final Four: Mississippi State pulls off stunning upset of UConn

The 2017 Women's Final Four was largely thought to be just a tournament of who would be the runner-up to Connecticut.

Turns out, UConn won’t even be in Sunday’s championship game.

Mississippi State completed one of the more stunning upsets in NCAA history with a 66-64 overtime victory over the Huskies, snapping Connecticut’s 111-game winning streak.

Morgan William's jumper as time expired in overtime sent the Bulldogs (34-4) to the national championship game. 

"I live for moments like this," the 5-5 point guard told ESPN. "For me to make that shot against them is unbelievable."

Friday’s win over UConn comes just over a year after the Bulldogs were thrashed by the Huskies in a 98-38 loss in last year’s Sweet 16 round.

Mississippi State (34-4) will face South Carolina in Sunday’s title tilt at American Airlines Center in Dallas. South Carolina (32-4) got to the championship game with Friday's 62-53 victory over Stanford (33-5).

Watching the Bulldogs beat UConn on Friday was former Mississippi State quarterback Dak Prescott, who was the NFL’s Rookie of the Year after leading the Cowboys to a 13-3 record.

"This was special and an gutsy performance by the entire team," Mississippi State coach Vic Schaefer told ESPN. "What an unbelievable team we just beat."

Connecticut (36-1) was seeking its fifth straight national championship game, but will instead wonder how such a dominant streak came to an end. Of UConn’s 111 straight wins, only three had been decided by single digits.

The Huskies actually trailed 29-13 in the second quarter of Friday's game before cutting into the lead with a 12-0 run of their own. UConn trailed 36-28 at halftime, just the second time the Huskies had trailed at the break all season, before finally making a run to tie the game at 48-48 after three quarters. 

But Mississippi State kept up its suffocating defense to frustrate the Huskies and complete the biggest victory in program history.

Stanford had been the last team to beat UConn with an 88-86 overtime victory on Nov. 17, 2014. That loss ended a 46-game winning streak for the Huskies. 

Sunday's championship game will be televised on ESPN at 6 p.m. ET.

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Ron Clements