Offense: What can you say about a team that had the most prolific three-point shooter in NCAA history (Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis) hit 1-for-8 from all distances and still got a 23-point semifinal rout of a Maryland team that went through the Big Ten unbeaten? UConn had 61 percent shooting from everyone else, with Breanna Stewart again living up to her player of the year credentials.

Edge: Connecticut.

Defense: The Huskies have size and board presence in Stewart and Morgan Tuck, quick hands in Moriah Jefferson and a defensive stalwart on the bench in Kiah Stokes. Although they often use just six players, making fouls a potential issue, UConn still comes at opponents hard. In a 78-56 December victory at South Bend, UConn held the Irish to their second-fewest points of the season.

Edge: Connecticut.

Coaching: Muffet McGraw, in her fifth consecutive Final Four and fourth title game in that span, did a remarkable job in getting this young Irish team to this point. This is the 10th title game for Geno Auriemma in the past 16 seasons, and his teams won the first nine, including a 21-point win over Notre Dame in last year's final.

Edge: Connecticut.

Prediction: Connecticut 80, Notre Dame 64.

chicago tribune