Mississippi State Women's Basketball Accepts WBIT Bid

After missing out on the NCAA Tournament, Mississippi State women's basketball is WBIT bound.

Mississippi State center Jessika Carter (4) listens on during a time-out during the third quarter of
Mississippi State center Jessika Carter (4) listens on during a time-out during the third quarter of / MCKENZIE LANGE/ Staff / USA TODAY

Mississippi State women's basketball is headed to the WBIT. After not being selected to the Women's NCAA Tournament, HC Sam Purcell and the Bulldogs chose to accept a bid to the WBIT and keep their season going.

Mississippi State was given a 2-seed in the WBIT bracket, and they will host the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets in the opening round.

Mississippi State women's basketball missing the NCAA Tournament is a colossal disappointment

To say this season was a disappointment for Mississippi State women's basketball would be an understatement. After Sam Purcell took his team to the Big Dance in his first season, advancing from the "Last Four In" to the Round of 32, the expectation was for the Bulldogs to take a step forward as a legitimate second-weekend contender in 2024, especially with the key talent returning and brought-in through the portal.

And for much of the year, that looked possible. Mississippi State began the season 20-5. They owned an impressive win over LSU and looked poised to make a run for a Top-3 finish in the SEC and, potentially, challenge for hosting spot in the NCAA Tournament.

But then things fell apart. State lost five-straight games, including an embarrassing home defeat to a lowly Kentucky team, before gaining a spec of momentum in their regular season finale against Missouri. They went from looking like a shoe-in for the tournament to being in real danger of missing it.

Their SEC Tournament opener against Texas A&M became a must-win. The Bulldogs no-showed, and their NCAA Tournament hopes died. A once promising season was flushed down the drain.

Mississippi State women's basketball's WBIT decision is surprising but could be beneficial

With the way the regular season and SEC Tournament ended, most expected MSU to decline an invite to the WBIT. It's rare that team's want to continue playing when things fall apart like they did for State, and with so much of the roster being seniors, it's hard to really build off a stint in the WBIT.

But clearly, Sam Purcell and the Bulldogs want to keep playing. And if the seniors of the team want to give it one more go to close out this year, I'm all for it. Plus, while roster turnover will be heavy this off-season, there are a few youngsters who could potentially earn more playing time to use as learning experiences such as Quanirah Montague and Jasmine Brown-Hagger.

There's no avoiding how much of a disappointment this season was for Mississippi State women's basketball, but hopefully they make the most of these games.