Before Friday night's national semifinal game, the Mississippi State women's basketball coach gave an unusual motivational speech.
"I will not be scared," Vic Schaefer told his players. "There is no reason to be scared. You are one heck of a basketball team."
The tactic makes more sense in light of the opponent: 36-0 University of Connecticut, riding a 111-game winning streak that included a 60-point thrashing of Mississippi State in last year's Sweet 16. At the time, it was the worst defeat in tournament history.