Comeback kids reach final

Baylor and Michigan State overcome double-digit deficts to upset the SEC powerhouses.

By wire services
Published April 4, 2005

INDIANAPOLIS - It almost seemed a formality. An SEC team would win the NCAA women's basketball tournament. Either LSU, the No.1 overall seed, or Tennessee, which had won six.

If they could have held on to double-digit leads, it would have been so.

Instead, LSU lost the first semifinal 68-57 to Baylor despite a 15-point lead in the first half. Then Tennessee lost 68-64 to Michigan State despite a 16-point lead in the second half.

Baylor's comeback was the third largest in Final Four history, Michigan State's the second largest. In 2001, Notre Dame came back from 16 down to beat Connecticut.

"Both teams will be very ready, and it will be quite a game," Michigan State coach Joanne McCallie said of Tuesday night's final. "I think we'll both have something left after these games."

Not too long ago, this matchup would have been unthinkable.

Five years ago today, Kim Mulkey-Robertson was named Baylor coach. She took over a team that went 7-20 the season before.

Eight days before Mulkey-Robertson was hired, McCallie spurned her alma mater, Northwestern, for Michigan State. She then went 10-18 in her first season.