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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San Diego 21 FINAL
Denver 35
Detroit 10/26/14 8:30 AM
Atlanta
Buffalo 10/26/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
St. Louis 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
Houston 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee
Minnesota 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Seattle 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Baltimore 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati
Miami 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Chicago 10/26/14 12:00 PM
New England
Philadelphia 10/26/14 3:05 PM
Arizona
Oakland 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Cleveland
Indianapolis 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Pittsburgh
Green Bay 10/26/14 7:30 PM
New Orleans
Washington 10/27/14 7:30 PM
Dallas
Indiana 88 FINAL
Charlotte 79
Philadelphia 103 FINAL
Detroit 109
Dallas 85 FINAL
New Orleans 88
NY Islanders 3 FINAL
Boston 2
Pittsburgh 3 FINAL(OT)
Detroit 4
Vancouver 4 FINAL
St. Louis 1
Chicago 2 FINAL
Nashville 3
Arizona 0 FINAL
Minnesota 2
Carolina 0 FINAL
Calgary 5
Buffalo 0 FINAL
Los Angeles 2
Columbus 5 FINAL
San Jose 4
Connecticut 21 FINAL
(18) East Carolina 31
Miami-Florida 30 FINAL
Virginia Tech 6
So Florida 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Troy 6:30 PM
South Alabama
BYU 8:00 PM
Boise State
(6) Oregon 9:00 PM
California
North Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Rice
UAB 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Arkansas
Rutgers 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(16) Nebraska
Maryland 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Wisconsin
Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(11) Kansas State
Minnesota 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
Memphis 10/25/14 11:00 AM
SMU
North Carolina 10/25/14 11:30 AM
Virginia
San Jose St 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Navy
Northern Ill 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Eastern Mich
(25) UCLA 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Colorado
Akron 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Ball State
Massachusetts 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Toledo
Ohio U 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Western Mich
Ga Southern 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Kent State 10/25/14 1:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
Oregon State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Stanford
Fla Atlantic 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(23) Marshall
Louisiana Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Southern Miss
(1) Miss State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Kentucky
Georgia Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Pittsburgh
(22) West Virginia 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Texas Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(10) TCU
Michigan 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(8) Michigan State
Boston College 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Wake Forest
Central Mich 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Buffalo
Vanderbilt 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Missouri
Old Dominion 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Western Ky
UNLV 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Utah State
Temple 10/25/14 4:00 PM
UCF
(15) Arizona 10/25/14 5:00 PM
Washington St
Texas-El Paso 10/25/14 6:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Wyoming 10/25/14 6:00 PM
Colorado State
Syracuse 10/25/14 6:00 PM
(21) Clemson
Texas State 10/25/14 6:00 PM
ULM
(3) Ole Miss 10/25/14 6:15 PM
(24) LSU
(4) Alabama 10/25/14 6:30 PM
Tennessee
So Carolina 10/25/14 6:30 PM
(5) Auburn
(13) Ohio State 10/25/14 7:00 PM
Penn State
(20) USC 10/25/14 9:00 PM
(19) Utah
(14) Arizona State 10/25/14 9:45 PM
Washington
Nevada 10/25/14 10:59 PM
Hawaii
(2) Florida State 10/30/14 6:30 PM
Louisville
Troy 10/30/14 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
Montreal 5:30 PM
Ottawa
Saskatchewan 8:30 PM
Calgary
Hamilton 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Toronto
Brt Columbia 10/25/14 6:00 PM
Winnipeg
Hamilton 10/31/14 6:30 PM
Ottawa
Winnipeg 11/1/14 3:00 PM
Calgary
Brt Columbia 11/1/14 6:00 PM
Edmonton
Toronto 11/2/14 11:00 AM
Montreal

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