The Missouri State Lady Bears (24-9) earned a No. 13 seed in the NCAA Tournament after capturing the Missouri Valley Conference’s automatic bid, and will open their 14th NCAA appearance Saturday, March 19, at fourth-seeded Texas A&M (21-9) for a 3 p.m. contest on ESPN2.
The other half of the bracket in College Station pits No. 5 Florida State (23-7) against 12th-seeded Middle Tennessee. The winners will play on March 21, and the champion of the four-team sub-regional advances to the Dallas Regional for the third and fourth rounds March 26 and 28.
Missouri State tied for second in the MVC with a 14-4 league record and won its 10th league tournament title Sunday afternoon with a 71-58 victory over top-seeded UNI.
The Lady Bears boast a rich NCAA Tournament history with Final Four appearances in 1992 and 2001 and a Sweet Sixteen trip in 1993. MSU last played in the Big Dance in 2006, and is 14-13 all-time in NCAA play.
Texas A&M is 21-9 overall and tied for second in the Southeastern Conference standings with an 11-5 league record. Florida State owns a 23-7 record and tied for third in the Atlantic Coast Conference at 13-3. Middle Tennessee is 24-8 and earned the automatic bid from Conference USA after tying for second in the regular season at 15-3.
Missouri State is 2-1 all-time against Texas A&M with home wins in 1991 and 2005 and road loss in 1980. The Lady Bears are also 2-1 against SEC teams this season, with both wins coming on the road. MSU is 3-0 against Florida State, winning in 1990, 1996 and 1997. Missouri State lost its only match-up with Middle Tennessee, a 70-54 road setback on Dec. 17 of this season.