Rivalry resumes between UConn and Notre Dame

Rivalry resumes between UConn and Notre Dame

Rivalry resumes between UConn and Notre Dame

There's a reason it's called March Madness.

Notre Dame overcame the loss of four players to knee injuries during the season, getting in position to play for its first national title since 2001.

It was the second straight year that the Huskies lost on a last-second shot in the Final Four, with Mississippi State's William dashing their ideal season a year ago. Jessica Shepard scored 15 points and ripped down 11 rebounds for the Fighting Irish (34-3).

Mississippi State is in a familiar position: one win away from a national championship. So of course are the ubiquitous Huskies, although the teams won't meet again unless both are victorious in their national semifinal games tonight.

However, two days later they fell to SC 67-55 in the championship game.

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In a battle of No. 1 seeds, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish upset the UConn Huskies on a last-second jumper winning 91-89 in overtime. She worked her way back to play a key role in the Irish's win over Villanova in the second round and then was a big factor in beating OR to get the Irish to the Final Four.

Victoria Vivians led the Bulldogs with 25 points. At the time, UConn had converted only five of its 19 field goal attempts, notably 2-of-10 from three-point range.

There is no question that Louisville's Asia Durr and Myisha Hines-Allen have to be great offensively, they are beating opponents by an average of 28 points in the tournament.

Notre Dame senior Kathyrn Westbeld has been the constant for the Irish.

Any college basketball team that reaches 11 straight Final Fours is obviously going to be plastered all over every news site, right? But the Huskies finished on a frantic 5-0 spurt.

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UConn (37-1) finished two victories shy of a national title, again, two victories shy of another ideal season. The Irish led by five points, 79-74 with 21 seconds remaining after three UConn turnovers in a little more than three minutes. Williams finished her UConn career with 12 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists, while Nurse finished hers with 10 points and five rebounds, and got the steal and layup that tied the game 79-79 at the end of regulation.

CT (89) Gabby Williams 6-12 0-0 10, Napheesa Collier 11-17 1-1 24, Crystal Dangerfield 3-11 0-0 2, Kia Nurse 4-13 0-0 10, Katie Lou Samuelson 6-12 0-0 16, Azura Stevens 8-12 3-5 19.

While the Huskies won it all in 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 and have 11 championships in their illustrious history-the most in the NCAA women's tournament-there will be a different team cutting down the nets this year.

The top-seeded Huskies finish their season 36-1.This was seen as a chance for redemption after the 2017 loss, but instead it felt like a deja vu. Entering the post season they were ranked first in the SEC with an outstanding 16-0 in conference record.

In that early December matchup, the Fighting Irish actually led going into the fourth quarter, before the Huskies went on a 26-6 run to end the game. They've been more aggressive at taking the ball to the basket.

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