Let's take a trip down memory lane. In 1974, Pat Summitt was named head coach of the University of Tennessee's women's basketball team. Summitt coached the Lady Vols for 38 years. Summit built up the program to everything she had dreamed of, and she gave it her all for as long as she could before retiring because of her health conditions. During these 38 years, the Lady Vols accomplished major goals with the biggest being eight NCAA national championship wins. Not only did they win eight times, but they also attended the NCAA post-season tournament every year that Summitt was the head coach. The Lady Vols have one undefeated season under their belts, which occurred in 1997-1998. Pat Summitt was a legend, and she made herself known at the University of Tennessee, but is the team any good without her?
Now let's take a look at Mississippi State in the past. Since 1974, women have been dribbling on the courts at Mississippi State. However, Mississippi State's women have never won an NCAA or SEC championship, and the road to success has not been easy or short. In 2012, Vic Schaefer was named head coach of the Bulldog women, and since then, an incredible atmosphere has been created at MSU. The team has two back-to-back Final Four appearances for both the 2016-2017 and 2017-2018 seasons, where the teams finished as runner-up each year. During the 2017-2018 season, the Bulldogs had a perfect regular season record and were SEC regular season champions. Schaefer has created an electric atmosphere for his ladies to play basketball in, and fans are realizing how special this is. Could the Bulldogs make a third appearance in the NCAA championship game this year?
Now in the 2018-2019 season, how are the Vols and Bulldogs doing? The Lady Vols have a current overall record of 15-7 with losses consisting of five SEC schools, Stanford, and Notre Dame (2018 national champions). Their SEC conference record, however, is 4-5. The Bulldogs have a current overall record of 21-1, with the single loss being against the current ranked #4 Oregon. MSU remains undefeated in conference play.
On Sunday, February 10, at 1 p.m., the University of Tennessee Lady Vols and the Mississippi State Bulldogs will battle it out at Humphrey Coliseum in Starkville, MS. Will the Bulldogs continue their winning streak or will the Lady Vols pull through? Watch and see on ESPN.