Mississippi State beat Louisville, 73-63 while Notre Dame beat UConn, 91-89 in the NCAA Women’s Final Four last Friday. The semifinals were easily the most exciting in recent memory. Both games were back-and-forth affairs, and both went into over time.
I’d say this buzzer beater by Notre Dame guard Arike Ogunbowale in OT shows us all why you don’t simply assume “UConn is gonna win it all.”
Here’s a breakdown of the prospects in tonight’s game, but mostly on the players who could be WNBA players this year or next.
It’s on ESPN if you want to watch TV and WatchESPN if you want to stream it. Gametime is at 6 p.m. ET.
Mississippi State’s WNBA Draft Prospects (This year and next)
- Victoria Vivians, G, Sr., - She is the player we should keep the closest eye on because numerous mock drafts had her going to the Mystics. I’m impressed with her performance this season as a whole, but the wing position is certainly one where Washington also has many options.
- Teiara McCowan, C, Jr., - McCowan scored 21 points and grabbed 25 rebounds in the win. She won’t be available in this year’s draft, but be on the lookout for her next season.
- Morgan William, G, Sr., - She scored 10 points but shot 2 of 8 from the field. William was the one who laid the “dagger” on UConn last year, but she won’t be a first round draft pick.
Notre Dame’s WNBA Draft Prospects (Next year and beyond)
- Arike Ogunbowale, G, Jr., - She will be a popular name because of her buzzer beater. She scored 27 points in the win but was streaky (she shot 9 of 21). I’ll just refer to my post from Friday in regard to what she must do in order to hit her potential in the WNBA.
- Marina Mabrey, Jr., G - Mabrey was turnover prone in the UConn game, so let’s see if she bounces back tonight.
- Jessica Shepard, Jr., F - She scored 15 points, grabbed 11 rebounds, and dished 5 assists vs. UConn.
- Jackie Young, So., G - I didn’t mention Young last Friday because she’s a sophomore. But she scored a career high 32 points and is one of the Irish’s biggest contributors overall. She looks to be one of the top college stars over the next two years.
Who should we root for?
Notre Dame has more tradition. But I’d rather root for Mississippi State because Mike Thibault’s daughter, Carly Thibault-DuDonis is an assistant. Either way, it should be a great game.