SEC Teams Mississippi State and SC to Meet For NCAA Title

Ronald Martinez  Getty Images

Ronald Martinez Getty Images

SC has postponed its welcome home celebration for the women's basketball team Monday because of tornado warnings and thunderstorms in the area.

SC coach Dawn Staley advanced to three Final Fours during her playing days at Virginia, but she failed to bring her team a title all three times.

As has become customary after one of the state's schools nets national championship win, a University of SC flag is flying over the Statehouse dome, beneath the United States and SC flags.

Thanks to that win, the crowd heavily favored Mississippi State, which used the energy for an early 7-1 lead before the Gamecocks took control for a third straight win this season against the Bulldogs.

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Staley made the Final Four three times as a player at Virginia but never won.

Store managers said business has been steady with both Gamecock teams going far in the big dance and they are just as happy as the fans are. In the championship title game, the All-American and SEC Player of the Year recorded 23 points, 10 rebounds, four blocks and two steals. Morgan William, who had become the face of the tournament with the game-winner against the Huskies after a 41-point performance against Baylor, was held to just 8 points.

Wilson, who grew up in SC, blocked a shot on one end of the court and then hit a short jumper in the lane that started a 12-2 run to put the game away.

Last year's game was played on a Tuesday. No. 2 at 7.0 was Hartford, a market loyal to the University of CT, which lost to Mississippi State in Friday's semifinals.

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Staley is replacing Auriemma as head coach. She had 18 points and 10 rebounds while fellow junior guard Kaela Davis also reached double figures with 10 points.

The Bulldogs couldn't solve SC, falling to the Gamecocks for the third time this season.

The Gamecocks led by as many as 14 points in the second half, then survived a Bulldogs charge to claim a 67-55 victory in the NCAA Tournament championship game on Sunday evening at the American Airlines Center. And while Mississippi State lost both of those games-the first by three and the second by 10-the Bulldogs had also been demolished by UConn in the past. Mississippi State (34-5) slowly cut into its deficit, getting with 54-50 on Jazzmun Holmes' jumper. Mississippi State's Vic Schaefer was on Texas A&M's staff when the Aggies won the championship six years ago.

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