Notre Dame Fighting Irish - Official Athletics Website

Irish Begin Quest for NCAA Tournament Title on Friday

March 14, 2018

NCAA First & Second Rounds: Host No. 1 Notre Dame (29-3)
Where: Notre Dame, Ind. | Purcell Pavilion (9,149)
Thursday’s Presser: 10:50-11:20 a.m. ET | 11:30 practice with first 15 min open to media
Friday’s First Round: vs No. 16 CSUN at 5 p.m.
Watch: ESPN2 / WatchESPN
Friday’s First Round: No. 8 South Dakota State vs No. 9 Villanova at 7:30 p.m.
Sunday’s Second Round: vs No. 9 Villanova at 7 p.m.
Watch: ESPN / WatchESPN
2018 Irish NCAA Central Click Here
Listen: Pulse FM 96.9 / 92.1 | Bob Nagle (PxP)
Notes: Notre Dame | CSUN | South Dakota State
Social: @NDWBB | #GoIrish

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The No. 1 seeded University of Notre Dame women’s basketball team will officially kickoff the NCAA Championship on Friday, March 16, inside Purcell Pavilion. The Irish will tip-off against CSUN of the Big West Conference at 5 p.m. ET on ESPN2.

All of Indiana, as well as the Chicago area will fall under the ‘home market-protected game’ category on ESPN2, while the rest of the country will be a part of ESPN’s national whip-around coverage.

All-session and single-session tickets for this weekend’s NCAA Championship games are on sale now at Tickets are also available by phone (574-631-7356) or in person at the Murnane Family Athletics Ticket Office (Gate 9 at Purcell Pavilion)

Notre Dame will be competing in its 25th NCAA Championship in 2018 and 23rd in a row. Their 23 straight appearances are the fourth longest active streak in the country and fifth best all-time.

The Irish are 56-23 all-time in the NCAA Tournament. Their 56 wins are tied for the fifth-most of any school, while their .709 winning percentage stands tied for sixth (minimum of 20 games).

Notre Dame is one of only four schools (Tennessee, UConn and Louisiana Tech) to reach five NCAA Title games. Their seven Final Four appearances are the fifth-most of any school behind Tennessee (18), UConn (18), Stanford (13) and La Tech (10).

Finally, the Irish have reached eight Elite Eights. In fact, Notre Dame, Baylor and UConn are the only teams to reach the Elite Eight six times in the last seven years. Yet, the Irish have been more successful than any other regularly-appearing school at that stage, as their .875 winning percentage (7-1) is the best of any program to play in at least five Elite Eights.

For the seventh year in a row and eighth time in program history, the Irish are a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Championship. Notre Dame is 30-6 all-time as a top-seed in the Dance, with four of the losses coming to fellow No. 1 seeds.

Notre Dame will host NCAA Championship action for the 13th time and fifth year in a row. The Irish are 18-2 in NCAA play inside Purcell Pavilion, including the winners of 12 straight.

Notre Dame will play host to its First Round opponent CSUN, along with the No. 8-9 seed matchup between South Dakota State and Villanova. The Matadors of CSUN went 19-15 overall and won the Big West Tournament to book its ticket to South Bend, upsetting No. 1 seed UC Davis.

The nightcap of Friday’s doubleheader of South Dakota State and Villanova will tip at 7:30 p.m. The Jackrabbits of SDSU are making their eighth NCAA Tournament appearance after going 26-6 and winning the Summit League Championship. Meanwhile, Villanova is making its 11th NCAA appearance and first since 2013 after going 22-8 overall and 12-6 in the Big East.

If successful in their NCAA First Round matchup, the Irish can claim win No. 30 on the season. It would mark the eighth consecutive 30-win season and 10th in school history. Nationally, only UConn has a longer active streak of 30-win seasons at 13, while Baylor matches the Irish with a streak that began in 2010-11.

In the span of time between the ACC Tournament title game and Friday’s first round NCAA matchup, both Coach McGraw and Arike Ogunbowale have picked up some postseason hardware. Both USA Today and espnW has named Muffet McGraw Coach of the Year. In addition, Coach McGraw has been named 1-of-4 finalists for the 2018 Werner Ladder Naismith Coach of the Year award. Meanwhile, junior guard Arike Ogunbowale has been named a Second Team All-American by both USA Today and espnW.