Apr 2, 2012, 12:29 AM EDT
It wasn’t always a pretty game. The Irish shot 40.3% from the field (Seven points below their season average). The teams combined for 37 turnovers, which at times, felt more like 67.
But style points mean nothing at this point in the season.
With a thrilling 83-75 overtime victory against Connecticut, the Notre Dame women’s basketball team is one win away from it second national championship, and it’s due in large part to hustle and heart.
A late rebound and putback from Natalie Novosel, a block from Skylar Diggins (yes, a block from the 5’9″ Irish point guard) and a pair of key three-pointers in overtime from Brittany Mallory have head coach Muffet McGraw’s team right where they wanted (and expected) to be on April 2, 2012 – in position to play for a title.
Watching tonight’s game, reading fans’ tweets and friends’ Facebook statuses, and now, checking out ‘One Shining Moment’ montages on YouTube as I write this, reminds me there’s nothing quite like college basketball.
The emotion and excitement of March Madness is unparalleled. The refuse-to-lose mentality of Diggins, the leadership of Novosel, the clutch shooting of Mallory, and the character of this Fighting Irish team make us proud to say we’re all a part of the same Notre Dame family.
March demonstrates how our connection to one another and to Notre Dame is strengthened through sports. At the arena, in a sports bar, or watching from our couch, we develop an emotional attachment to the teams and the games. Alum, student or fan, we feel as though we’ve been along for the journey.
In this year’s tournaments, we have seen both the highest of highs – the triumph of victory (tonight) – and the lowest of lows – the heartbreak of defeat (the men’s game vs. Xavier). As the teams fight back tears, we share their sorrow. And as the teams celebrate, we experience the same pure, unadulterated joy.
Tonight was a memorable night for the Fighting Irish, the fans in Denver, and those watching, blogging, tweeting and Facebooking across the world.
There is, however, still work to be done. Notre Dame will return to the court on Tuesday night at 8:30 pm ET when it takes on 39-0 Baylor in the national championship game.
Get some rest over the next 40 hours or so, and clear your schedule for Tuesday night. The table is set for an historic evening in the Rocky Mountains.
Five down, one to go…
- W. Basketball. IRISH EXTRA: For Notre Dame and Stanford, A Rivalry Renewed
- M. Basketball. Men's Basketball Post Game Notes
- M. Basketball. Men's Basketball Post Game Quotes
- M. Basketball. Irish in the 2015 NCAA Championships: The Notre Dame Men in Cleveland
- M. Swimming. Day One of NCAAs Brings New School Record For Fighting Irish Men's Swimming
- M. Basketball. Notre Dame Races by Wichita State 81-70 for Elite Eight Spot
- Track. Notre Dame Completes Day Two Of Competition in Texas
- W. Golf. Irish Women's Golf Set To Tee Off In LSU Tiger Classic
- W. Basketball. Loyd Selected As Finalist For 2015 Wade Trophy
- W. Basketball. Notre Dame Women's Basketball Sweet 16 Media Day
Fighting Irish on YouTube
- Check out @ND_Performance right now for updates from our annual Sport Performance clinic currently underway. http://t.co/tKuFLpNhCG 1 hour ago
- Last night, Wichita State took a 1 point lead. Then @NDmbb took over. Relive it all now with @WatchND's ICON: watchnd.tv/#!/videos/dkaW… 2 hours ago
- 1:44.00 - At the NCAA Champ Meet, Sr Zachary Stephens set a new school record in the 200IM yesterday. (prev: 1:44.01) http://t.co/FscPM6XiPO 6 hours ago
- RT @timprister: Of #NotreDame 38-18 run in 10:19, #WichitaState HC Gregg Marshall said: "I've never seen a one-point lead get out of hand s… 7 hours ago
- RT @NDmbb: ONE of EIGHT. #NotDoneYet http://t.co/71oL6XSpGp 19 hours ago