Women's Final Four preview: Notre Dame vs. UConn

  • Updated: April 6, 2013 - 11:38 PM

Guard Jewell Loyd has started every game as a freshman for Notre Dame.

Photo: JONATHON GRUENKE • Newport News Daily Press/MCT ,

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Notre Dame Fighting Irish (35-1)

Coach: Muffet McGraw

Conference: Big East (automatic bid)

Region: Norfolk, Va. (No. 1 seed)

Last Final Four: 2012

The skinny: The Irish extended their school-record winning streak to 30 games and are looking to advance to their third consecutive NCAA national championship game (they lost in the 2011 final to Texas A&M and in the 2012 final to Baylor). Notre Dame has defeated UConn in each of the last two national semifinals and swept the Huskies in all three meetings this season in thrilling fashion, winning once in OT and by margins of one and two points in the other games. The Irish’s only loss this season came at home against Baylor. McGraw and Geno Auriemma have coached in all 40 games that Notre Dame and Connecticut have played.

Keep an eye on: Freshman guard Jewell Loyd, a starter from the first game, has averaged 12.5 points per game while logging the second highest number of minutes (31 per game) for the Irish. She is also the team’s most accurate three-point shooter.

The quote: “A shame it has to end, but what a way to go out.” — McGraw on the crumbling of the current Big East, which has three teams in the Final Four.

Connecticut huskies (33-4)

Coach: Geno Auriemma

Conference: Big East (at-large bid)

Region: Bridgeport, Conn. (No. 1 seed)

Last Final Four: 2012

The skinny: The Huskies have reached the national semifinals for a record sixth straight season. UConn broke the record of appearing in five consecutive Final Fours that it shared with Stanford (2008-12) and LSU (2004-08). UConn’s four losses this season have come to Notre Dame (three times) and Baylor. This will be the third women’s Final Four held in New Orleans, and all three have involved UConn teams coached by Auriemma. Connecticut lost in the semifinals in 1991 but won it all in 2004. With an eighth national championship, the Huskies would tie Tennessee for the most in NCAA women’s basketball history. The Huskies have won their four tournament games by an average of 39 points.

Keep an eye on: In six postseason games, freshman Breanna Stewart has averaged more than 17 points and five rebounds, while blocking 14 shots.

The quote: “Each year is different ... special in its own way. This is our last go-around. We want to go out with a bang.” — senior Kelly Faris.

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New England 2/1/15 5:30 PM
Seattle
Detroit 69 FINAL
Philadelphia 89
Portland 94 FINAL
Cleveland 99
Sacramento 102 FINAL
Toronto 119
Boston 98 FINAL
Minnesota 110
Dallas 94 FINAL
Houston 99
Denver 93 FINAL
New Orleans 85
Brooklyn 102 FINAL
Atlanta 113
Oklahoma City 92 FINAL
New York 100
Charlotte 86 FINAL
San Antonio 95
LA Clippers 94 FINAL
Utah 89
Washington 98 FINAL
Phoenix 106
Toronto 1 FINAL(SO)
New Jersey 2
Pittsburgh 0 FINAL
Washington 4
Chicago 3 FINAL
Los Angeles 4
Temple 86 FINAL
UCF 62
Winthrop 75 FINAL
Coastal Carolina 68
Lafayette 59 FINAL
Colgate 54
Northeastern 60 FINAL
Drexel 65
Wake Forest 76 FINAL
Florida State 82
Rhode Island 64 FINAL
Fordham 63
Delaware 82 FINAL
James Madison 88
South Carolina 58 FINAL
LSU 64
New Hampshire 63 FINAL
Maine 58
Seton Hall 80 FINAL
Marquette 70
Binghamton 68 FINAL
UMBC 56
American Univ 54 FINAL
Navy 64
Elon 65 FINAL
UNC-Wilmington 82
Wright State 76 FINAL
Oakland 84
Minnesota 58 FINAL
Penn State 63
Duquesne 55 FINAL
Richmond 86
SMU 63 FINAL
South Florida 52
Hartford 66 FINAL
Stony Brook 72
Albany 47 FINAL
Vermont 44
Hofstra 79 FINAL
William & Mary 100
UNC-Asheville 74 FINAL
Longwood 64
Radford 84 FINAL
Char Southern 77
Holy Cross 0 Postponed
Loyola-Maryland 0
Duke 73 FINAL
Notre Dame 77
Texas Tech 36 FINAL
Oklahoma 81
Oregon State 55 FINAL
Arizona State 73
Morehead State 82 FINAL
Austin Peay 69
Drake 69 FINAL
Bradley 57
Lehigh 62 FINAL
Bucknell 68
Rice 48 FINAL
Houston 59
Missouri State 57 FINAL
Illinois State 67
Loyola-Chicago 47 FINAL
Wichita State 58
Nebraska Omaha 64 FINAL
South Dakota St 86
Northern Iowa 59 FINAL
Southern Ill 52
Louisville 81 FINAL
Boston College 72
St Johns 74 FINAL
Creighton 77
East Carolina 58 FINAL
Memphis 70
Georgia Tech 70 FINAL
Miami-Florida 50
Miss State 73 FINAL
Ole Miss 79
Clemson 68 FINAL
NC State 57
Indiana 67 FINAL
Purdue 83
Kansas 64 FINAL
TCU 61
Oregon 56 FINAL
Arizona 90
Air Force 66 FINAL
San Jose St 52
Stanford 84 FINAL
Washington 74
Rider 56 FINAL
Siena 49
Dayton 76 FINAL
Richmond 62
Eastern Kentucky 53 FINAL
Jacksonville St 73
Saint Josephs 0 Postponed
Saint Louis 0
UMBC 71 FINAL
Binghamton 55
Akron 60 FINAL
Ohio U 72
Ball State 72 FINAL
Miami-Ohio 55
Memphis 56 FINAL
Cincinnati 44
East Carolina 32 FINAL
(2) Connecticut 87
Murray State 59 FINAL
Eastern Illinois 75
Kent State 63 FINAL
Central Michigan 65
UT Martin 64 FINAL
Tennessee St 58
Eastern Michigan 56 FINAL
Western Mich 83
Bucknell 61 FINAL
Lehigh 76
Indiana 57 FINAL
Michigan State 72
Colgate 56 FINAL
Lafayette 58
Fordham 66 FINAL
Davidson 45
Duquesne 76 FINAL
St Bonaventure 64
George Mason 66 FINAL
VA Commonwealth 70
Detroit 59 FINAL
Youngstown St 58
Army 0 Postponed
Boston U 0
Loyola-Maryland 0 Postponed
Holy Cross 0
SMU 58 FINAL
Tulsa 74
Oklahoma St 54 FINAL
Kansas State 52
West Virginia 57 FINAL
Texas Tech 73
Denver 56 FINAL
South Dakota 82
Northwestern St 46 FINAL
Central Arkansas 63
Austin Peay 67 FINAL
SIU-Edwardsville 87
Kansas 61 FINAL
Iowa State 56
Bowling Green 50 FINAL
Northern Ill 67
Penn State 64 FINAL
Minnesota 75
San Jose St 80 FINAL
Air Force 83
Boise State 82 FINAL
Colorado State 83
Utah State 51 FINAL
Wyoming 86
San Diego State 50 FINAL
Fresno State 57
Nevada 52 FINAL
UNLV 75

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