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South Carolina women win first national title

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Geno Auriemma embraced Morgan William after the MSU guard beat UConn at the buzzer. More

In the almost seven months since, the Bulldogs have proven their head coach right. "Obviously we feel like we know them", he said. This game I'm not going to have seven turnovers.

And as ESPN.com's Mechelle Voepel points out, the last time UConn lost in the NCAA tournament was 2012. Winning had become routine, often by routs. The Gamecocks and Bulldogs are each making their debut in the national final. Holmes broke free in the lane, but was met by Wilson, who blocked the shot, kept it from going out of bounds and then scored on a short step-back jumper to stop the Bulldogs' run. He turned to his bench, then went to congratulate the Bulldogs. It helps to have a veteran team (four seniors, four juniors), but these kids were incredible. "When it went in, it was nearly like, of course". When asked if she believes so, she said, "No doubt in my mind, yes". "I know how to appreciate when other people win". Breanna Richardson and Victoria Vivians had 12 points each for Mississippi State. I'm just enjoying it right now, like everywhere I go, can I get a picture, can I get an autograph?

UConn went on to win the next four national championships. I'm still in shock right now. "I wanted the win streak to end in the fall".

While facing a familiar foe is helpful for the short turnaround, SC coach Dawn Staley knows Mississippi State is a different team from the one the Gamecocks played a month ago. "It's amusing, last year I'm showing "Miracle" (about the 1980 US hockey team's upset of Russian Federation followed by the gold-medal game against Finland) and this year now I'm having to live it, because there's one more game". UConn, which produces All-Americas and players of the year as if it's no big deal and replaces them without missing a beat. When Carolina came away with a 59-49 win in the SEC Championship game thanks to a 23-point effort by Kaela Davis and a 15-point day by Wilson, nailing down a #1 seed in the process, we figured that would be the last they'd see of Vic Schaefer and his squad. Not only do they have great players, I mean, we talk about being attached all the time, chemistry.

In their first five NCAA Tournament games this year, Mississippi State played the highest possible seed each time.

The loss ended UConn's NCAA record winning streak which started with a victory over Creighton on November 23, 2014.

"Am I surprised that Mississippi State won?" Simply when they needed a play they made one. The countdown continued nonstop till in a leap of faith, Williams took the shot that decided the game as the timer hit triple 0's, allowing the Bulldogs to take the win with a 66-64 score.

"Maybe we're just not ready for this". "She was going to come and our medical staff intervened, and we just thought it was best that she just stay off of it". "They're really grounded, they've been that way all year". It was the lone basket for Mississippi State in OT until William's game-winner.

While many were expecting the conquerors of the last four years to joust with history on Sunday night, any permutation of the Final Four teams that came to Dallas was likely to produce a memorable championship game. No one expected Morgan to do the same thing again against the UConn Huskies. Davis scored five of her 10 points in the period. (Katie) Lou (Samuelson) has been incredibly consistent all year long. The Bulldogs are the first team ever with consecutive overtime victories in the NCAA Tournament.

The Huskies finish 36-1 and are 11-7 in national semifinal games. During the postgame interview Friday, Prescott joined William. Donovan McNabb was also in Dallas, cheering on niece Kia Nurse, who stars for CT.

UConn did not lead in the first half for the first time since having its 90-game winning streak broken at Stanford on December 30, 2010.

The Bulldogs path to the final pairing began at home in Starkville in the tournament's first weekend. Roberts brought out a Bulldogs jersey on her morning show.

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