UConn Women, 36-0, Lose In The Final 4 vs. Notre Dame

UConn Women, 36-0, Lose In The Final 4 vs. Notre Dame

UConn Women, 36-0, Lose In The Final 4 vs. Notre Dame

I've been saying for the last 15 or 20 years that winning national championships is hard.

The guard narrowed her eyes in concentration before shaking her head.

If Sunday's contest is anything like Friday's games, the fans in Columbus will be in for a treat.

Irish coach Muffet McGraw calls Ogunbowale "the closer". They are a versitile team able to game plan and match up with anyone in the country.

"They've weathered every storm that's come their way, worn a bulls-eye on their back from what they accomplished a year ago", Schaefer said.

ESPN's road to the 2018 Women's Final Four began nearly a year ago with its first site surveys of Nationwide Arena.

Next up for Notre Dame will be Mississippi State, which beat Louisville in overtime in the first semifinal matchup. It's also the Huskies' 11th straight Final Four appearance.

The Huskies are trying to extend their recent domination of the Fighting Irish.

"We were a little dejected at the end of regulation, but Arike I think was madder than anyone", McGraw said. I practice this all the time. Notre Dame hit a last-second shot in overtime Friday to oust the Huskies from the NCAA Tournament. Napheesa Collier hit a 3-pointer, and Kia Nurse stole an inbounds pass and made a layup to tie the score with 10 seconds left in regulation.

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In overtime, the Irish were down two until Ogunbowale and Jessica Shepard rattled off back-to-back layups and Collier missed a jumper on the other end.

Notre Dame has recovered from UConn's big run and turned their semifinal into a back-and-forth game, with the Huskies leading 60-57 after three quarters.

"We've been very fortunate for the most part to get those kids that come out of high school, and they want to be coached the way I coach, and they're not afraid to walk into our building and look up at the walls see those names and see those banners, and go, 'I got this, '" Auriemma said. Ogunbowale's shot capped a 27-point night, and Jackie Young led the way for the winners with 32 points.

UConn was also heavy favorite in last year's tournament, but lost to Mississippi State in one of last year's semifinal games.

"When you do something and it seems like it's so effortless, you do get numb and forget that it's hard", Auriemma said about making it to 11 straight Final Fours. There are no bad teams (here).

That's what happens when you coach two of the nation's best teams and play in the same conference.

The undefeated University of Connecticut's women's basketball team enters Friday as the overwhelming favorite to win their 12th national title. Then it was Ogunbowale's turn, scoring six quick points to put Notre Dame up by five with 21 seconds left.

In the first half, the Irish shot 45.5 percent - well enough to keep up with Connecticut's unstoppable offense. Notre Dame up by five, with UConn closing the lead. Irish guard Marina Mabrey dribbled away from the rim and handed the ball to junior guard Arike Ogunbowale near half court. She battled back from an ankle injury early in the season only to hurt the other ankle in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

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