March 12, 2018 8:19:42 PM
STARKVILLE -- The Mississippi State women's basketball team added another piece of history to an already accomplished season Monday night.
After winning its first Southeastern Conference regular-season title and completing the first undefeated regular season by a SEC team in 20 years, MSU earned a No. 1 seed for the first time in program history. As the top seed in the Kansas City Regional, MSU will play host to No. 16 seed Nicholls at 5 p.m. Saturday (ESPN2) at Humphrey Coliseum.
No. 8 seed Syracuse (22-8) will play No. 9 seed Oklahoma State (20-10) at 2:30 p.m. Saturday (ESPN2). The winners of both games will play Monday at a time to be announced. The winner of that game will advance to the Sweet 16 in Kansas City.
MSU went 16-0 in SEC play as part of a 32-0 regular season, which was the first time a SEC team accomplished the feat since Tennessee in 1998. South Carolina beat MSU 62-51 on March 4 to win its record fourth-straight SEC tournament title.
MSU defeated Oklahoma State 79-76 on Dec. 3 in the SEC/Big 12 Challenge in Starkville. It beat Syracuse 76-65 on Dec. 21 at the Duel in the Desert in Las Vegas.
Nicholls (19-13) beat Stephen F. Austin 69-65 to win the Southland Conference tournament title. Nicholls is making its first appearance in the NCAA tournament. It finished tied for fourth (11-7) in the Southland Conference in the regular season.
Connecticut (Albany Regional), Louisville (Lexington), and Notre Dame (Spokane) earned the other No. 1 seeds.
South Carolina (Albany), Baylor (Lexington), Oregon (Spokane), and Texas (Kansas City) are the No. 2 seeds.
The Final Four will kick off March 30 in Columbus, Ohio. The national championship game will be Sunday, April 1.
Check Tuesday's print edition of The Dispatch for more details.
Adam Minichino is the Sports Editor for The Commercial Dispatch.