Some more stuff on tonight’s game.
UConn vs. Notre Dame the premier rivalry in women’s basketball, Tampa Bay Times
NCAA women’s basketball final: It’s not your mother’s rivalry, Tampa Bay Times
Tonight, Notre Dame (36-2) and UConn (37-1) meet for the second straight year in the women’s national championship game. UConn is in the title game for the fifth time in the past seven seasons, seeking its 10th overall title.
“It’s super exciting,” said Turner, a Notre Dame freshman from Pearland, Texas, who watched UConn defeat Notre Dame on TV last year. “I grew up seeing the Final Fours. I went to the Final Four in San Antonio a couple of years ago, and I was thinking, ‘Wow this is awesome. I want to be able to do that.’ That’s one of the reasons I came to Notre Dame, to be able to compete in Final Fours. This is what I wanted my whole life.”
For the multiple All-Americans who will take the floor tonight at Amalie Arena, this is the rivalry they’ve grown up with — or helped develop.
This Year, Geno, Muffet Show Admiration On Eve Of Title Game, Courant
NCAA Title Game Capsule: Notre Dame Vs. UConn, Courant
UConn women imagine trading places with coaches, Channel 8
Notre Dame Coach Says Familiarity With UConn Will Help In Title Game, Courant
“This one’s definitely different,” Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw said Monday of this national championship game. “We started the season and looked at what we lost, so to say we’ve come a long way is an understatement. I’m proud of where we got to.
On Eve Of Final Game, Mosqueda-Lewis Reflects On A Great Ride, Courant
Sharpshooter Tuck on way to becoming latest UConn superstar, Tampa Tribune
UConn’s Morgan Tuck talented but unheralded, Tampa Bay Times
Moriah Jefferson, ESPN VIdeo w/LaChina
Breanna Stewart, UConn on brink of third title in a row, USA Today
UConn’s Stewart and Notre Dame’s Loyd have emerged as leaders, Register
A year ago it all seemed so simple for sophomore sensations Breanna Stewart and Jewell Loyd.
The presence of senior leaders and All-Americans resulted in the resident superstars being the recipients of everything their veteran teammates brought to the floor.
When times got tough, Stewart could look to Stefanie Dolson and Bria Hartley to do all the heavy lifting. Loyd relied heavily on the experience, counsel and talents of Kayla McBride and Natalie Achonwa.
When they step onto Amalie Arena for tonight’s national-championship rematch (8:44 p.m., ESPN), they will do so as not only the nation’s top two players but a pair of All-Americans who made the transition from productive underclassman to team leader.
Turner could be difference this time for Notre Dame, Tampa Tribune
Underdog Notre Dame has chance to be remembered, ND Insider
Four consecutive Final Four tries to win a women’s basketball national championship.
Four straight disappointments — for a variety of reasons.
Why should No. 5 be different for Notre Dame?
Tonight’s challenge against big, bad, bully Connecticut is right in Muffet McGraw’s wheelhouse.
Auriemma, 9-0 In Title Games, Enjoys It While It Lasts, Courant
Geno Auriemma’s legacy stands on its own, Tampa Tribune
Notes: A different kind of Final Four for Notre Dame, Tampa Tribune
At UConn, Lessons to Respect the Past, NY Times
Today, none of the current UConn players can remember a time when the program’s expectation was not a national title. Auriemma’s first title, in 1995, actually predates the births of some of his current freshmen.
The UConn associate head coach Chris Dailey makes her current student-athletes learn about the players who have come before them. Dailey, who has sat by Auriemma on the bench since he took the job 30 years ago, speaks of the past generation of Huskies as if they were fallen soldiers who deserve respect, honor and remembrance.
UConn aims for 10th national title, Boston Globe
The UConn standard, NCAA.com
The Huskies Are Better Than The Wildcats Ever Hoped To Be, FiveThirtyEight.com
Women’s NCAA championship: Who has the edge?, Columbia Daily Herald
Five questions before UConn – Notre Dame: Can the Irish stop the Huskies?, SI
4. How does UConn stop Notre Dame?
UConn is not a great defensive team and at times they have to hide average defenders such as Mosqueda-Lewis and reserve guard Saniya Chong. Some of their guards get beat off the dribble but they have shot blockers such as Stewart to bail them out.
UConn assistant coach Shea Ralph is in charge of the scouting Notre Dame, an assignment she’s had since she joined the staff in 2008. She knows that Notre Dame will get off a lot of shots but where the game will be won for UConn is how tough the Huskies make those shots. “It’s fun to watch them play, I must tell you,” Ralph said of the Irish. “They are smart, well coached, and I see tons of similarities with us. We both have Princeton-style type of offensives and the kids who make reads and come off screens as opposed to running plays whereas other teams you are scouting a play.”
For Inspiration, Notre Dame Can Look to 2001 and Niele Ivey, NY Times
Ball in the air. Game on the line. Season on the brink.
Strangely enough, Niele Ivey did not have a Katie Douglas flashback to 2001, did not feel that old, familiar dread of a championship dream floating toward the rim, a balloon still with the possibility of being burst.
Notre Dame gets another crack at dethroning the UConn dynasty, Notre Dame Insider
When Auriemma and his Huskies talk women’s teams, Notre Dame is generally at the head of the discussion. Indeed, you can make a good argument that the rivalry between the two schools has become the No. 1 in the game.
There’s mutual respect among the players, starting with first team All-Americans Breanna Stewart of UConn and Jewell Loyd of Notre Dame.
And, of course, there’s mutual respect between the coaches, Auriemma and Notre Dame’s Muffet McGraw.
If anyone can beat mighty UConn, it may be Notre Dame, NY Newsday
“They’re a lot like us, and I think that’s why they have had success against us,” UConn coach Geno Auriemma said Sunday night. “So we give them problems like other teams in the country don’t, and they give us problems like other teams in the country don’t. So Tuesday night is not going to be any fun, believe me. I’m glad we’re playing in that game, but it’s not going to be any fun.”
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