March 20, 2016
by Chris Masters
2015-16 ND Women’s Basketball: Game 34
NCAA Championship – Lexington Region/Second Round
#2/3 [#1 seed] Notre Dame Fighting Irish (32-1 / 16-0 ACC) vs. [#9 seed] Indiana Hoosiers (21-11 / 12-6 Big Ten)
DATE: March 21, 2016
TIME: 6:30 p.m. ET
AT: Notre Dame, Ind. – Purcell Pavilion (9,149)
SERIES: ND leads 6-4
1ST MTG: ND 63-61, ot (3/9/83)
LAST MTG: IU 54-51 (12/3/06)
TV: ESPN2/ESPN3/WatchESPN (live) (Dave Pasch, p-b-p / Debbie Antonelli, color)
RADIO: Pulse FM (96.9/92.1)/WatchND (watchnd.tv) (live) (Bob Nagle, p-b-p / Ruth Riley, color)
TEXT ALERT: UND.com
TWITTER: @NDsidMasters / @ndwbb
IRISH TOURNAMENT CENTRAL: UND.com
NOTRE DAME 1ST/2ND ROUND CENTRAL: UND.com
- Notre Dame and Indiana will meet for the first time in nearly in a decade and will square off in the postseason for the first time ever.
- The Fighting Irish have won 13 of the 18 NCAA Championship second-round games they have played, including all six at home.
No. 2/3 Fighting Irish Face Indiana In NCAA Second Round
On the heels of an efficient and balanced victory in its NCAA Championship opener, No. 2/3 (and top-seeded) Notre Dame tackles another tough challenge at 6:30 p.m. (ET) Monday when it plays host to in-state rival (and No. 9 seed) Indiana at Purcell Pavilion. The game will air live ESPN2, ESPN3 and WatchESPN, while radio coverage is available on South Bend’s Pulse FM (96.9/92.1) and the official Fighting Irish athletics multimedia platform, WatchND (watchnd.tv).
Notre Dame (32-1) advanced to the second round of this year’s NCAA tournament with a 95-61 victory over North Carolina A&T on Saturday night at Purcell Pavilion. The Fighting Irish shot a blistering .586 from the field and dished out a season-high 29 assists on 34 baskets to extend their current winning streak to 25 games.
Sophomore forward Brianna Turner led a season high-tying six Notre Dame players in double figures with 16 points on 7-of-8 shooting, while graduate student guard Madison Cable added 15 points and a team-high seven rebounds for the Fighting Irish.
- Notre Dame is No. 2 in the final Associated Press poll and is No. 3 in the latest WBCA/USA Today poll.
- Indiana is not ranked.
- Notre Dame swept the ACC regular-season and tournament titles for the third consecutive season, becoming the second conference school ever to pull off that feat and the first since Duke from 2002-04.
- The Fighting Irish earned their fifth consecutive outright conference regular-season championship (including their final two years in the BIG EAST), the longest string of consecutive conference crowns in program history (previous was three from 1989-91 in the Midwestern Collegiate Conference/Horizon League).
- Notre Dame is the third ACC school to win three consecutive outright regular-season championships, joining Virginia (1991-96) and Duke (2001-04).
- The Fighting Irish tied a school record with their fourth consecutive conference tournament title, beginning with the 2013 BIG EAST championship and continuing the past three years in the ACC. Previously, the Fighting Irish won four consecutive league tournament crowns from 1989-92 in the MCC/Horizon League.
- Notre Dame is the fourth ACC school to win three consecutive conference tournament crowns (first since North Carolina from 2006-08).
- The Fighting Irish are off to a 31-1 start or better for the third time in program history, all within the past four seasons (also 2012-13 and 2013-14).
- Notre Dame has registered its sixth consecutive 30-win season and the eighth in program history (all within the past 20 seasons).
- The Fighting Irish are 10-1 against ranked opponents this season, and also registered a win over UCLA on Nov. 28 in the Bahamas, two days before the Bruins entered the Associated Press poll (UCLA is 10th in the final AP poll and 12th in the latest WBCA/USA Today coaches’ poll).
- Despite losing two starters from the lineup that opened last April’s NCAA championship game in Tampa (and missing a third – sophomore forward Brianna Turner – with an injury for six games), Notre Dame has scarcely missed a beat this season, led in large measure by two first-time starters in graduate student guard Madison Cable (scoring up from 6.2 to 13.7 ppg.) and sophomore forward Kathryn Westbeld (6.7 to 8.2 ppg.), as well as the reliable production off the bench from freshman guards Arike Ogunbowale (11.7 ppg.) and Marina Mabrey (10.6 ppg.).
- The Fighting Irish feature a very balanced attack with four players currently posting double-figure scoring averages (and two others at 8.0 ppg. or better). Of those six, two are freshmen (Marina Mabrey and Ogunbowale), and two are sophomores (Turner and Westbeld).
- Notre Dame’s bench play has been sharp this season, with the Fighting Irish reserves averaging 29.8 points per game, compared to 14.8 ppg. for their opponent’s bench.
- Notre Dame ranks among the top 25 in six NCAA statistical categories (as of Thursday), including five top-10 rankings — three-point field-goal percentage (2nd – now .409), field-goal percentage (3rd – .494), scoring margin (5th – +19.6 ppg.), assists (8th – 18.2 apg.) and scoring offense (10th – 79.7 ppg.). The Fighting Irish also rank 21st in assist/turnover ratio (1.22), while standing third in the non-statistical measure of win-loss percentage (.970).
- Including a No. 2 ranking in the final balloting (the fifth year in a row it has ended up second in the media voting), Notre Dame has appeared in the Associated Press poll for 174 consecutive weeks (the past 104 weeks in the AP Top 10), extending a program record that dates back to the 2007-08 preseason poll, and ranking fourth in the nation among active AP poll appearances.
- Notre Dame has been ranked in the top 10 of the Associated Press poll for 116 of 127 weeks this decade (since 2010-11), ranking second in the nation in that category behind only Connecticut (127).
- Every current Fighting Irish player has competed for a top-10 Notre Dame squad during her career, with the vast majority of that time (72 of 78 weeks) spent in the top five of the Associated Press poll.
- Notre Dame is ranked No. 3 in the latest Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA)/USA Today poll, making its 141st consecutive appearance in that survey. It’s also the eighth consecutive season and 14 of the past 18 years the Fighting Irish have appeared in the top 10 of the coaches’ poll.
- Notre Dame has a remarkable tradition of success at home inside Purcell Pavilion, with the Fighting Irish owning a 434-91 (.827) all-time record in 39 seasons at the facility, including a 111-6 (.949) record since the arena was renovated prior to the 2009-10 season and an active 29-game home winning streak.
- Including regular season and postseason play, the Fighting Irish have won 97 of their last 101 games against conference opponents (and a school-record 34 in a row at home), dating back to their membership in the BIG EAST.
- Since joining the ACC prior to the 2013-14 season, Notre Dame is 57-1 against conference foes (47-1 regular season, 10-0 postseason). Notre Dame is just the second ACC school to lose only once in regular-season conference play during a three-year span (Duke also went 47-1 from 2002-04).
- Guards Madison Cable, Hannah Huffman and Michaela Mabrey have helped Notre Dame to a 140-7 (.952) record in their careers, putting them on pace to challenge last year’s senior class of Whitney Holloway and Markisha Wright as the most successful in Fighting Irish history. Holloway and Wright helped Notre Dame to a 143-10 (.935) record in their four-year careers, with those 143 wins tying for the second-most victories by any four-year class in NCAA Division I history (the Connecticut class of 2011 amassed 150 wins, while the Louisiana Tech class of 1982 also had 143 victories).
- Since they first suited up at Notre Dame in 2012-13, Cable, Huffman and Mabrey have paced Notre Dame to two NCAA national championship games and three NCAA Women’s Final Fours (plus four conference regular season titles and four league tournament crowns), as well as a 49-6 (.891) record against ranked teams (25-6 against top-10 opponents).
- With 731 victories in her 29 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 (799-90 from 1962-95).
- With 819 career wins, McGraw ranks 10th in NCAA Division I coaching history (seventh among active coaches). She also is one of two ACC coaches in the top 10, along with current North Carolina head coach Sylvia Hatchell (third all-time/second among active coaches with 975 wins).
The Notre Dame-Indiana Series
Notre Dame and Indiana will meet for the 11th time in their series history on Monday night, with the Fighting Irish holding a 6-4 edge against the Hoosiers. The teams have split their six prior matchups in South Bend, with IU winning the the most recent game between the two programs (at any location), a 54-51 decision on Dec. 3, 2006, at Purcell Pavilion.
Other Notre Dame-Indiana Series Tidbits
- The Notre Dame-Indiana series has been remarkably competitive through the years, with nine of the 10 games between the Fighting Irish and Hoosiers decided by single digits, including four that ended up as one-possession games (one going to overtime).
- Through 10 games, the aggregate score in the series also is quite close, with Notre Dame having piled up 678 points, while Indiana has scored 647 points.
- Indiana junior guard Karlee McBride is the younger sister of former two-time Notre Dame All-America guard and 2014 ACC Player of the Year Kayla McBride (’14), who helped the Fighting Irish to a 138-15 (.902) record, four NCAA Women’s Final Fours and three national championship game appearances during her career from 2010-14. The elder McBride is currently playing overseas in Russia before she aims to return to her WNBA club, the San Antonio Stars, for her third season in the Alamo City (she was a 2014 WNBA All-Rookie Team pick with San Antonio and later represented the Stars as a 2015 WNBA All-Star selection).
- Second-year Indiana head coach Teri Moren previously coached against Notre Dame during her stints at Indiana State (Nov. 13, 2011 – a 99-34 Fighting Irish win at Purcell Pavilion in the Preseason WNIT quarterfinals) and NCAA Division II program Indianapolis (Nov. 1, 2005 – an 84-59 Notre Dame exhibition win at Purcell Pavilion).
- Notre Dame associate coach Beth (Morgan) Cunningham is a native of Bloomington, Indiana, and a 1993 graduate of Bloomington South High School. Cunningham’s father, Bob Morgan, also was a legendary coaching figure at Indiana University, piloting the Hoosiers’ baseball program to 1,070 wins from 1984-2005, highlighted by a trip to the 1996 NCAA regionals. Now retired, Morgan remains one of the 15 winningest coaches in NCAA Division I baseball history.
Notre Dame vs. The Big Ten Conference
- Notre Dame is 70-69 (.504) all-time against the current Big Ten Conference alignment, with a 36-24 (.600) record at home. The Fighting Irish also are 62-48 (.564) current Big Ten teams in the Muffet McGraw era (1987-88 to present).
- Notre Dame has won 25 of its last 31 games vs. Big Ten schools–not counting matchups with Maryland, Nebraska or Rutgers before they joined the Big Ten in recent seasons–including a current string of 14 in a row since Minnesota ended the 2008-09 Fighting Irish season with a 79-71 win in the first round of the NCAA Championship at Purcell Pavilion.
- Notre Dame won its lone game against a Big Ten opponent this year, defeating No. 10/12 Ohio State, 75-72 on Dec. 2 in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge at Purcell Pavilion.
- Indiana will be the second in-state opponent on Notre Dame’s schedule this season. Back on Nov. 23, the Fighting Irish posted a 110-54 win at Valparaiso.
- Notre Dame is 126-32 (.797) all-time against other Indiana schools, with a 33-11 (.750) record at Purcell Pavilion.
- The Fighting Irish have won 21 consecutive games against in-state foes since a 54-51 loss to Indiana on Dec. 3, 2006, at Purcell Pavilion.
- Since the start of the 2008-09 season, Notre Dame has played 72 times when it has had a short one-day break (or less) between games.
- When faced with such a tight turnaround, the Fighting Irish have risen to the occasion in recent seasons, going 61-11 (.847) on the back half of these two-game (or more) blitzes during the past eight years.
- This season, Notre Dame is 6-0 in the second game of these tight turnarounds, a record highlighted by a pair of ACC Tournament victories over nationally-ranked opponents (No. 21 Miami and No. 17 Syracuse), and another in the Junkanoo Jam Freeport Division title game (over then-unranked UCLA, which entered the national polls two days later).
— ND —
Chris Masters, associate athletics communications director at the University of Notre Dame, has been part of the Fighting Irish athletics communications team since 2001 and coordinates all media efforts for the Notre Dame women’s basketball and women’s golf programs. A native of San Francisco, California, Masters is a 1996 graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University, earned his master’s degree from Kansas State University in 1998, and currently serves on the Board of Directors for the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA).