Feb. 24, 2018
|Game 29: #5/4 Notre Dame (26-2, 14-1) vs #21/22 NC State (22-6, 11-4)|
|When:||Sunday, Feb. 25 | 2:00 pm ET|
|Where:||Notre Dame, Ind. | Purcell Pavilion (9,149)|
|Watch:||ESPN2 | WatchESPN | Tiffany Greene (PxP) & LaChina Robinson (Analyst)|
|Listen:||Pulse FM 96.9 / 92.1 | Bob Nagle (PxP)|
|Notes:||Notre Dame | NC State|
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Certainly a lot on the line on Sunday when the No. 5 University of Notre Dame women’s basketball team hosts No. 21 NC State at 2 p.m. ET on ESPN2. If victorious, the Irish (26-2, 14-1) will earn at least a co-share of the ACC regular season title and also pick up their eighth ranked win on the year, which would tie for the most in the country.
Limited tickets are still available at UND.com/buytickets.
MAGIC NUMBER IS ONE
With Notre Dame and Louisville still deadlocked atop the ACC standings at 14-1, the magic number is one for the Irish. One game left, one win to claim, and the Irish have secured their fifth straight ACC regular season title and seventh straight when dating back to the final two years of the Big East. Seven straight regular season titles would be the third highest active streak in the country, only behind Baylor (8) and Green Bay (seeking 20). Five straight ACC regular season titles would be one shy of the all-time mark set by Virginia from 1991-96.
GIVE IT UP FOR THE SENIOR CLASS
Notre Dame will honor four of its seniors on Sunday in a special pre-game ceremony slated to begin at 1:40 p.m. Lili Thompson, Mychal Johnson, Kristina Nelson and Kat Westbeld will take center stage and be recognized for all their hard work and achievements.
The senior class is responsible for 128 total wins, a 60-3 ACC record and an impressive 63-2 mark at home inside Purcell Pavilion. The seniors have reached an NCAA title game and have swept the ACC regular season and tournament titles all three years.
NAISMITH WOMEN’S COLLEGE COACH OF THE YEAR SEMIFINALIST
Word is starting to spread on Coach McGraw’s stellar season at the helm of the Irish. On Feb. 21, the Atlanta Tipoff Club named Coach McGraw a 2018 Werner Ladder Naismith Women’s College Coach of the Year semifinalist, joining nine other individuals on the list.
From the list, the Naismith Awards master voting academy will select four finalists to be announced on March 14. The Coach of the Year will then be named on March 31.
The Irish possess the No. 2 strength of schedule and No. 2 ranked RPI, while the ACC ranks first in conference RPI. The Irish are ranked No. 5 in the country and No. 4 in the Coaches’ Poll, boast a 26-2 record, are one win away from an ACC regular season title and are a projected No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament.
The Irish also boast six ranked wins away from home, which leads the nation, and the most RPI top-50 wins with 12.
CASE FOR ACC PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Let’s start with the fact that Ogunbowale leads the ACC in scoring with 20.3 points per game, which also ranks 25th in the nation. If the season ended today, it would rank as the second best in program history, with Katryna Gaither holding the top spot at 20.4.
Ogunbowale also leads the ACC in 20-plus point performances this year with 18, which is three more than the next ACC player. More impressive is the fact, that Ogunbowale has produced more 20-point games than all combined opponents faced this season (14).
Next, let’s look at the fact that the Irish have faced nine ranked teams in the nation’s second toughest rated schedule, and in those ranked games, Ogunbowale still averaged 19.2 points and 5.0 rebounds on 42.1 percent shooting.
Then, there’s the fact that Ogunbowale takes over games in the fourth quarter. She averages a team best 5.9 points in the final period on 54.7 percent shooting. She has reached double-digit points in the final period five times this season.
LAST TIME VS NC STATE
The Irish will certainly seek some retribution on Sunday and look to avenge last year’s lone conference loss to NC State. The Wolfpack earned the 70-62 upset in Raleigh. Marina Mabrey tallied a team high 22 points on 8-of-14 shooting.
Overall, Notre Dame leads the all-time series, 5-1, and have only hosted NC State once at home, which resulted in an 82-46 victory on Feb. 4, 2016.