#2 Irish Host #21/18 Oklahoma State Saturday In NCAA Sweet 16
March 28, 2014HOOSIER SPORTS 365
NOTRE AMDE BASKETBALL RELEASE
2013-14 ND Women's Basketball: Game 35
NCAA Championship -- Notre Dame Regional Semifinal
#2/2 [#1 seed] Notre Dame Fighting Irish (34-0 / 16-0 ACC) vs. #21/18 [#5 seed] Oklahoma State Cowgirls (25-8 / 11-7 Big 12)
DATE: March 29, 2014
TIME: 2:30 p.m. ET
AT: Notre Dame, Ind. - Purcell Pavilion (8,874)
SERIES: First meeting
TV: ESPN/WatchESPN (live) (Beth Mowins, p-b-p / Stephanie White, color / Maria Taylor, sideline)
RADIO: Pulse FM (96.9/92.1)/WatchND (live) (Bob Nagle, p-b-p)
TOURNAMENT CENTRAL: UND.com
REGIONAL CENTRAL: UND.com
LIVE STATS: UND.com
TICKETS: (574) 631-7356; UND.com/buytickets(limited availability)
- Notre Dame is one of five schools to reach the NCAA Sweet 16 the past five seasons.
- The Fighting Irish face a Big 12 opponent in the Sweet 16 for the fourth time in five years.
No. 2 Fighting Irish Host #21/18 Oklahoma State Saturday In NCAA Sweet 16
After a pair of wins in its first two NCAA Championship games 150 miles away in Toledo, Ohio, No. 2 (and top-seeded) Notre Dame is back at Purcell Pavilion where it plays host to No. 21/18 (and fifth-seeded) Oklahoma State in an NCAA Notre Dame Regional semifinal at 2:30 p.m. (ET) Saturday. The game will be televised live on ESPN and WatchESPN, while the Notre Dame Radio Network broadcast can be heard free on the official Fighting Irish athletics multimedia platform, WatchND.
Notre Dame (34-0) moved on to its fifth consecutive NCAA Sweet 16, and sixth in seven years, with an 84-67 win over Arizona State on Monday night in Toledo. The Fighting Irish used a 16-6 run midway through the second half to take control and turn back a game ASU squad.
Senior forward Natalie Achonwa logged her team-high seventh double-double of the year with game highs of 25 points and 11 rebounds, while senior guard Kayla McBridenearly had her own double-double (22 points, nine assists).
- Notre Dame is No. 2 in the final Associated Press poll and is No. 2 in the latest WBCA/USA Today poll.
- Oklahoma State is No. 21 in the final Associated Press poll and is No. 18 in the latest WBCA/USA Today poll.
- Notre Dame has advanced to the NCAA Sweet 16 for the fifth consecutive season (one of five teams) and the 12th time in the past 18 years (also one of five teams).
- 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 34-0, 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 34-game winning streak already has topped last year's 30-game run, and it's also the longest winning streak by any Notre Dame team (regardless of sport) since World War II, passing the performance of 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 (12-1 at home).
- 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 (.513) and three-point percentage (.414), part of seven NCAA statistical categories that the Fighting Irish are 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 135-14 (.906) 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 fourth in the latest 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 660 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 748 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 934).
The Notre Dame-Oklahoma State Series
Notre Dame and Oklahoma State will be playing for the first time on Saturday.
Other Notre Dame-Oklahoma State Series Tidbits
- Oklahoma State will be the 204th different opponent in the 37-year history of Notre Dame women's basketball.
- Oklahoma State is the seventh new opponent on this year's Notre Dame schedule, following prior inaugural matchups with UNC Wilmington, Oregon State, South Dakota State, Clemson, Florida State and Robert Morris.
- The Fighting Irish have won their last 18 games against first-time opponents, most recently earning a 93-42 victory over Robert Morris in their NCAA first-round game on March 22 in Toledo, Ohio.
- During their current 18-game winning streak against new opposition, the Fighting Irish have won by an average score of 91-48.
- Notre Dame is 62-7 (.899) against first-time opponents since 1995-96, including a 42-3 (.933) mark vs. new teams this century (since the start of the 2000-01 season).
- The Fighting Irish have won 31 consecutive home games against first-time opponents, dating back to Jan. 18, 1996, when Connecticut posted an 87-64 win at Purcell Pavilion. The last new opponent to visit South Bend was Clemson, which Notre Dame defeated 71-51 in its inaugural ACC regular season game on Jan. 5.
- In the past 13 years, the Fighting Irish are 11-0 against first-time opponents in the NCAA Championship, including this year's first-round win over Robert Morris. Oklahoma State will be the first NCAA postseason opponent Notre Dame has faced at home since Vermont in a 2010 second-round contest (won by the Fighting Irish, 84-66).
- For the third consecutive season, Notre Dame is playing a first-time opponent in its NCAA Sweet 16 game. In 2012, the Fighting Irish defeated St. Bonaventure (79-35) in the Raleigh Regional semifinals, and last year, they dispatched Kansas (93-63) in the Norfolk Regional semifinals.
- This will mark the third time in five years Notre Dame has played a team from Oklahoma in the NCAA Sweet 16. In 2010, OU edged the Fighting Irish, 77-72 in overtime at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, before Notre Dame returned the favor with a 78-53 win over the Sooners in the 2001 Dayton Regional semifinals.
- While Saturday's game will be the first basketball meeting (either gender) for Notre Dame and Oklahoma State, the two schools have met in intercollegiate competition in a handful of other sports through the years, including women's tennis (Notre Dame leads series, 3-0, including a 4-0 victory earlier this year on Jan. 26 at the ITA Kickoff Tournament in Evanston, Ill.), men's tennis (Notre Dame leads 2-0), softball (OSU leads 3-1) and women's soccer (tied 1-1). The latter series also featured the only prior postseason matchup between the schools, with the Fighting Irish women's soccer team defeating the Cowgirls, 2-0 in Stillwater in the 2010 NCAA Championship quarterfinals on the way to the program's third national title.
- Notre Dame has had two Oklahoma natives suit up in the program's 37-year history. Oklahoma City native Debbie Hensley played for the Fighting Irish from 1980-83, and more recently, Tootie Jones (a resident of Moore, Okla.) competed from 1990-94 and was a key contributor on Notre Dame's first two NCAA Championship teams (1992, 1994).