NEW ORLEANS (Sporting Alert) — After beating Connecticut to the regular season and tournament titles, Notre Dame are buzzing with confidence that they can knock off their conference rivals in the NCAA Women’s Final Four on Sunday.
The Fighting Irish have defeated the Huskies three times this season and many are backing Muffet McGraw side to collect the sweep on Sunday night.
However, despite feeling confident heading into the game, the Big East champions will not be taking things for granted against the Geno Auriemma coached program which knows how to win.
“I don’t think the past three games matter,” said Skylar Diggins, who leads the team in scoring and assist.
“They are a team that when you play against them, they can get in your head. When you think of UConn basketball, you think of all the championships.”
The last time these two teams met on March 2, Notre Dame came away with a close 61-59 victory, while the next two ended very close as well.
It took a triple overtime effort for the Fighting Irish to beat Connecticut 96-87 in their second meeting during the regular season, while the Jan. 5 meeting finished 73-72 in favor of Notre Dame.
Still, UConn’s coach Auriemma is not worried about the recent good run form of his rivals.
“If we would have won the other three and then lose tomorrow, then winning those other three would mean nothing,” he noted.
“I guess the short answer is: what happened in those other three doesn’t mean anything.
“The only thing that matters now is what happens tomorrow night. That’s it.”
Fifth seed Louisville (28-8) another Big East team and the side that upset Brittney Griner and defending national champion Baylor, and second-seeded California (32-3) from the Pac-12, will contest in the first Final Four kick-off.