The Mississippi State Bulldogs have developed quite the niche for defeating Huskies. After defeating the Washington Huskies, they ended the UConn Huskies winning streak at 111 games
The Washington Huskies fell short in the NCAA Tournament this year. The team made it to the Sweet Sixteen round for the second team in a row.
This was the year for the upset. I saw it coming. In fact, I believed that the University of Washington Huskies Women’s Basketball team would be the team to stop the winning streak of the University of Connecticut this year. I had the right idea, but simply had the wrong team.
When the Washington Huskies advanced to the Sweet Sixteen round, they had achieved the plateau of some of the best basketball in the nation. But…
Now, you know when a but happens, the theme changes. And it did. The Mississippi State Bulldogs had a new strategy, a scheme that was unlike any in the nation. And it was proving to be incredibly effective. The Bulldogs placed starters onto the bench, and role players onto the starting lineup. That strategy enable the Bulldogs to exploit their superior team depth. Whether an opponent rotated to their bench, or tried to force starters to absorb the minutes, Mississippi State had the advantage.
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Taking the Sting Out Of The Loss
The Washington Huskies Women’s basketball team fell to Mississippi State 75-64. And so, the dream of the Washington Huskies defeating UConn faded. But the dream didn’t fade, it merely passed like a baton from the Washington Huskies to Mississippi State.
UConn’s undefeated streak ended at the bulldogs hands.
And so, the loss for the University of Washington Huskies is less painful in the knowledge that their opponent has gone on to fulfill the destiny. Much like the game with the Washington Huskies, the Bulldogs controlled the boards, and used their depth to hammer at the UConn Huskies with fouls. Once again, their depth of playing ten players to UConn’s seven won the day, and the game.
NCAA Women’s Basketball Evolves
Take note Washington Huskies. I stand on the assertion that the University of Washington Huskies starting five was as good if not better than any starting five in the nation. But NCAA Women’s Basketball has evolved before our eyes. Depth is now an advantage. Mississippi State has changed the direction of the sport. It’s no longer enough to have the best starting five.
Team’s must now plan strategically. The game of checkers has now become chess. Moves of who to rotate, when, how often, and how many, are now forced upon coaches. Some will adapt. Some will not.
The Washington Huskies can incorporate this experience into next year’s lineup. Very likely, teams will need more than a good cast of solid seniors to win now.