2012 NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP GAME (1) NOTRE DAME (35-3) VS. (1) BAYLOR (39-0)
7:43 p.m. at Pepsi Center,Denver
TV: ESPN (Dave O'Brien and Doris Burke will call the game)
All-time: Baylor leads 2-0, beating Notre Dame both in December 2010 (76-65) and last November (94-81).
ABOUT NOTRE DAME
Coach: Muffet McGraw (679-255 in 30 seasons)
Averages: 79.2 points per game, 51.5 points allowed per game
• The Irish are an experienced bunch led by point guard Skylar Diggins (left), whose steady leadership helped Notre Dame overcome a letdown in regulation to blitz Connecticut in overtime during the national semifinals Sunday. Diggins scored 19 points and had a game-changing block in OT, after Natalie Novosel, who finished with 20 points, tied the score late in regulation. Notre Dame, which won its only title in 2001, made it this far last year as well, losing to Texas A&M 76-70 for the title in Indianapolis. One area the Irish have an advantage over Baylor is turnover margin: Notre Dame ranks fifth in the NCAA at plus 6.7, while Baylor is 93rd at 1.7.
Coach: Kim Mulkey (337-79 in 12 seasons)
Averages: 78.9 points per game, 52 points allowed pg
• Certainly, the center of attention on the Lady Bears is 6-8 Brittney Griner, but when Stanford focused on stopping her in the semifinals -- she shot only 3-for-9 from the floor -- teammates Terran Condrey, Odyssey Sims, Jordan Madden and Destiny Williams all stepped up. Griner had 32 points, 14 rebounds and five blocks, while Sims (above) added 25 points when host Baylor beat Notre Dame for the preseason WNIT title on Nov. 20. Like Notre Dame, Baylor is looking for its second title, to go with the one it won in 2005. It's no surprise that with Griner patrolling the paint, the Lady Bears led the NCAA in blocks at 7.9 per game.