STARKVILLE — Mississippi State women’s basketball will miss the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2013-14.
MSU was not one of the 64 teams announced during ESPN’s bracket reveal show Monday night. The Bulldogs were also left out of the four COVID-related replacement teams that would stand in should pandemic issues render a squad unable to play.
The Bulldogs concluded Nikki McCray-Penson’s first regular season in Starkville 10-9 (5-7 SEC) with a loss to LSU in the first round of the Southeastern Conference Tournament. MSU had lost seven of its last nine games heading into the postseason and hadn’t beaten a team with a winning record since Dec. 31.
The Bulldogs’ lone win over a team in the top 25 of the NET rankings came against Georgia in their first SEC game of the season.
A source with knowledge of the situation confirmed to The Dispatch that the school turned down an invite to the WNIT a few days ago, thus ending the Bulldogs’ season.
The Bulldogs previously advanced to the Sweet 16 in each of the last four seasons and competed in back-to-back national title games in 2017 and 2018. The Bulldogs were expected to be an NCAA Tournament team in 2020 before the COVID-19 pandemic canceled the tournament entirely.
Prior to Monday’s selection show, ESPN bracketologist Charlie Creme projected MSU as the first team out of the field in his final update ahead of the reveal.
Ben Portnoy reports on Mississippi State sports for The Dispatch. Follow him on Twitter at @bportnoy15.
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