#2 Irish Tip Off NCAA Tournament Saturday Against Robert Morris
March 20, 2014HOOSIER SPORTS 365
NOTRE DAME SPORTS RELEASE
2013-14 ND Women's Basketball: Game 33
NCAA Championship -- Notre Dame Region/First Round
#2/2 [#1 seed] Notre Dame Fighting Irish (32-0 / 16-0 ACC) vs. [#16 seed] Robert Morris Colonials (21-11 / 14-4 NEC)
DATE: March 22, 2014
TIME: 1:30 p.m. ET
AT: Toledo, Ohio - Savage Arena (7,300)
SERIES: First meeting
TV: ESPN (full national)/WatchESPN (live) (Beth Mowins, p-b-p / Stephanie White, color)
RADIO: Pulse FM (96.9/92.1)/WatchND (live) (Bob Nagle, p-b-p)
TOURNAMENT CENTRAL: UND.com
LIVE STATS: UND.com
- Notre Dame is a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Championship for the third consecutive season and the fourth time in program history.
- The Fighting Irish have won their NCAA Championship first-round game in 16 of the past 18 seasons.
No. 2 Fighting Irish Tip Off NCAA Championship Saturday Against Robert Morris
After completing the first undefeated regular season in program history and collecting both the ACC regular season and tournament titles, second-ranked Notre Dame has earned a No. 1 seed for this year's NCAA Championship and will open tournament play at 1:30 p.m. (ET) Saturday with a Notre Dame Region first-round game against 16th-seeded Robert Morris at Savage Arena in Toledo, Ohio. The game will be televised live to a national audience on ESPN and the WatchESPN platform, while the Fighting Irish Radio Network broadcast can be heard live and free of charge at WatchND.
Notre Dame (32-0) became the first ACC team in 11 seasons to run the table in conference play, capping its unblemished inaugural league campaign in grand style by defeating No. 10 Duke, 69-53 on March 9 to win the ACC Championship in Greensboro, N.C.
Sophomore guard Jewell Loydwas named the tournament MVP after scoring a game-high 26 points in the title game.
- Notre Dame is No. 2 in the final Associated Press poll and is No. 2 in the latest WBCA/USA Today poll.
- Robert Morris is not ranked.
- Notre Dame won both the ACC regular season and tournament titles, becoming the first conference school to claim both crowns in the same year since Duke in 2002-03 (and the first ACC member ever to do so in its inaugural season).
- Notre Dame went a combined 19-0 in ACC regular season and tournament play, becoming the first league school outside the Triangle (Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill, N.C.) to run the table, and the first to go 19-0 against the ACC since Duke in 2002-03.
- For the first time in the program's 37-year history, the Fighting Irish have won three consecutive outright regular season conference titles (following BIG EAST crowns in 2011-12 and 2012-13), and it's just the second time they have ever won three consecutive regular season conference titles of any kind (they shared the 1988-89 Midwestern Collegiate/Horizon League championship before claiming the top spot outright the following two seasons).
- Notre Dame is the fourth ACC school to win the conference regular season title by at least four games, and the first since Duke in 2001-02.
- Notre Dame is the first school to win the ACC regular season women's basketball title in its first year in the conference since the ACC began sponsoring the sport in 1977-78.
- Notre Dame and Middle Tennessee (Conference USA) are the first NCAA Division I programs to win consecutive conference titles in different leagues since 2000-01, when both TCU and Louisiana Tech did so.
- At 32-0, Notre Dame is off to the best start to a season in program history, surpassing the 23-0 debut by the 2000-01 club.
- The current Fighting Irish school-record 32-game winning streak already has topped last year's 30-game run. It's also the second-longest winning streak by any Notre Dame team (regardless of sport) since 1950, trailing only the 2001 Fighting Irish softball team (33).
- Notre Dame has won 26 consecutive home games, dating back to Dec. 5, 2012 (a 73-61 loss to No. 3 Baylor). The 26-game home winning streak is the second-longest in school history and tied for the second-longest active run in NCAA Division I.
- The Fighting Irish have won a school-record 26 consecutive road games (and 42 of their last 47), tying the fourth-longest streak in NCAA Division I history and dating back to a 94-81 loss at No. 1 Baylor on Nov. 20, 2011, in the Preseason WNIT title game.
- Since the start of the 2011-12 season, Notre Dame is 38-5 (.884) against ranked opponents (14-2 on the road).
- Notre Dame stands at No. 2 in the AP and WBCA/USA Today polls, the third consecutive season that the Fighting Irish have earned the second position in both surveys.
- Notre Dame leads the nation in field goal percentage (.511), part of seven NCAA statistical categories that the Fighting Irish rank among the top 10 (not including won-loss percentage, for which they are one of two remaining teams in the nation without a loss).
- Notre Dame has appeared in the AP poll for 136 consecutive weeks (including the past 66 weeks in the AP Top 10), extending a program record that dates back to the 2007-08 preseason poll, and ranking sixth in the nation among active AP poll appearances. What's more, every current Fighting Irish player has competed for a ranked Notre Dame squad during her career, with the vast majority of that time (86 of 97 weeks) spent in the AP Top 10.
- Senior forwards Natalie Achonwa and Ariel Braker, and senior guard Kayla McBride have helped Notre Dame to a 133-14 (.905) record in their careers, surpassing last year's senior class of Skylar Diggins and Kaila Turner, who helped Notre Dame to a 130-20 (.867) record from 2009-13.
- Of the 14 losses suffered by the current Fighting Irish senior class, eight were decided by single digits (and three others by 10-13 points).
- Notre Dame aims to continue its remarkable success at Purcell Pavilion, with the Fighting Irish owning a 399-90 (.816) all-time record in 37 seasons at the facility, including a 76-5 (.938) record since the arena was renovated prior to the 2009-10 season.
- Notre Dame ranks fifth in this week's NCAA attendance rankings (8,683 fans per game), and is one of only two schools in the country (along with Gonzaga) to fill its arena to better than 90 percent capacity, something the Fighting Irish have done each season since 2009-10.
- With a 106-72 victory over Central Michigan on Dec. 22, the Fighting Irish became the 27th NCAA Division I women's basketball program to record 800 all-time wins.
- With 658 victories in her 27 seasons at Notre Dame, head coach Muffet McGraw ranks second on the Fighting Irish athletics all-time coaching wins list (across all sports), trailing only men's/women's fencing coach Michael DeCicco (774-80 from 1962-95).
- With 746 career wins, McGraw has moved into 10th place on the NCAA Division I career list. She is one of two ACC coaches in the top 10 along with current North Carolina coach Sylvia Hatchell (second with 932).
The Notre Dame-Robert Morris Series
Notre Dame and Robert Morris will be meeting for the first time on Saturday.
Other Notre Dame-Robert Morris Series Tidbits
- Robert Morris will be the 203rd different opponent in the 37-year history of Notre Dame women's basketball.
- Robert Morris is the sixth new opponents on this year's Notre Dame schedule, following prior inaugural matchups with UNC Wilmington, Oregon State, South Dakota State, Clemson and Florida State.
- The Fighting Irish have won their last 17 games against first-time opponents, most recently earning an 81-60 victory at Florida State on Feb. 6.
- During their current 17-game winning streak against new opposition, the Fighting Irish have won by an average score of 91-49.
- Notre Dame is 61-7 (.897) against first-time opponents since 1995-96, including a 41-3 (.932) mark vs. new teams this century (since the start of the 2000-01 season).
- In the past 13 years, the Fighting Irish are 16-3 (.842) when playing a first-time opponent away from home, with a 10-0 record at neutral sites (6-0 in the NCAA Championship, most recently taking a 93-63 win over Kansas in last year's Norfolk Regional semifinals at Norfolk, Va.).
- Notre Dame and Robert Morris have met in intercollegiate competition in only two other sports -- ice hockey and softball. The schools first met in softball on March 11, 1994, with Notre Dame winning 18-0 at the South Florida Tournament in Tampa. More recently, the Fighting Irish and Colonials split a home-and-home hockey series on Jan. 5 & 7, 2007, with Notre Dame winning 6-2 at Mellon Arena in Pittsburgh, before RMU returned the favor with a 4-2 victory two nights later at the Joyce Center. Besides Saturday's first-ever women's basketball meeting, the schools will tangle for the first time in men's lacrosse on April 12, when Robert Morris visits Notre Dame's Arlotta Stadium.
- Notre Dame has had 10 Ohio natives suit up in the program's 37-year history, including Toledo native Ericka Haney ('02), who was a starter on the 2001 Fighting Irish national championship team. Notre Dame will add another Ohio resident to its roster next season when Kettering native and 2014 McDonald's High School All-America forward Kathryn Westbeld arrives on campus.