2019 ACC Tournament Preview

ACC Tournament: #1 seeded Notre Dame (27-3, 14-2)
 Where:  Greensboro, N.C. | Greensboro Coliseum
 Listen:  Pulse FM 96.9/92.1/103.1 | Bob Nagle (PxP) 
 Quarterfinals:  Friday, March 8 | 2 pm ET | North Carolina
 Quarterfinal Media:  RSN | How to Watch (RSN affiliates) | Stats Link
 Semifinals  Saturday, March 9 | Noon ET | Winner of Miami vs Syracuse
 Semifinal Media:  ESPNU | Stats Link
 Finals  Sunday, March 10 | Noon ET
 Finals Media  ESPN2 | Stats Link
 Notes:  Notre Dame
 Social:  @NDWBB
 Tourney HQ:  ACC Tournament Central

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The No. 4 nationally ranked Notre Dame women’s basketball squad just wrapped its sixth straight ACC regular season title and earned the coveted No. 1 seed in the ACC Tournament. The Irish will begin their quest for the league tournament crown on Friday, March 8, at 2 p.m. ET, airing on RSN affiliates. Saturday’s semifinal round would take place at Noon ET on ESPNU, while the championship game is set for Sunday at Noon ET on ESPN2. 

The Irish could potentially embark on a revenge tour over the weekend. First up on Friday, Notre Dame looks to get one back against eighth-seeded North Carolina. In the semis, the Irish would then face the winner of Syracuse and Miami. Next, last year’s ACC Tournament champion Louisville boasts the two-seed on the bottom half of the bracket and could once again square off in the final.  

Notre Dame earned its sixth straight ACC regular season title and eighth straight conference regular season title when dating back to the final two years of the Big East. The six consecutive regular season titles tie the all-time mark set by Virginia from 1991-96.

In addition, the eight in a row now marks the second highest active streak in the country, only behind nine from Baylor. Green Bay lost its streak of 20 to Wright State this season in the Horizon League. 

Coach McGraw has often stated that she boasts a team of All-Americans and any starter can step up on a given day. The starting five represent over 90 percent of the team’s scoring, as all five average over 13.5 ppg – no other team can claim that about their starters.

What’s important to note when comparing the five to other All-American candidates is how well this team spreads the wealth. The team averages 20.8 assists/game which ranks 4th in the nation, as Mabrey, Ogunbowale and Young all average over 4.0 assists/game and rank within the top 10 in the ACC in assists. 

Also keep in mind, Notre Dame’s starters have accomplished great numbers against the nation’s No. 1 rated strength of schedule, in the No. 1 RPI ranked conference in the ACC and with the No. 1 ranked overall team RPI. 

For the third time of her career, Brianna Turner was named the ACC Defensive Player of the Year. Turner joins Irish Ring of Honor inductee Ruth Riley has the program’s only three-time conference defensive player of the year award winners. Turner averaged a league best 3.1 blocks/game in ACC play only. 

All five of our starters found themselves on either the Blue Ribbon Panel’s or Coaches’ Panel First or Second Team all-conference lists. This marks the most selections the Fighting Irish have ever received for end of the year all-conference teams.

Ogunbowale & Shepard were First Team selections for the second straight year. Young was unanimous Second Team pick on both. Turner was Second Team on BRP while Mabrey was Second Team on Coaches.

Turner became the first Irish player to earn All-Conference honors all four years in the ACC and the fifth ever to do so, joining Jacqueline Batteast, Skylar Diggins, Beth Morgan and Sandy Botham. Turner also received All-Defensive honors all four years as well.

Jackie Young became the first Irish player to record two triple-doubles in the same season. Young joins Skylar Diggins for the most in a career with two. In addition, Young is now 1-of-7 Division I players this year to achieve multiple triple-doubles.

The junior recorded the 7th triple-double in Irish history at Tennessee (1/24), logging 16 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists. Then earned the 8th vs Virginia (3/3) when she accomplished 22 points, 10 rebounds & 11 assists.

Young  also flirted with a triple-double at No. 17 Syracuse (2/25) where she earned a career high 12 assists to go with 10 points and 8 boards.

Young and Mabrey have been dynamic in distribution as of late. In just the last two games, Young has dished out 23 assists, with only 3 turnovers, totaling 32 points in that span. With a career high 12 assists at Syracuse, followed by 11 versus Virginia, Young becomes the first player since Lindsay Allen Lindsay Allen to notch back-to-back games with double-digit assists (10 vs. Virginia, 3/3/17; 10 vs. Louisville, 3/4/17; 13 vs. Duke, 3/5/17, all @ Conway, S.C.).

Meanwhile, Mabrey has dished out 26 assists with only six turnovers, for the last three games –> included a career high tying 10 assists versus Duke. 

Shepard leads the Irish with 12 double-doubles on the year while Young (8) and Turner (7) follow right behind. Interesting to note though, that six of the games in which Young recorded a double-double, Shepard recorded one as well. In fact, the duo have achieved a double-double together three times over the last five games.

Shepard is currently riding the best stretch of her season posting five double-doubles in the last seven games –> in that seven game span, Shepard has averaged 19.6 points, 11.6 rebounds, 3.6 assists & 1.7 steals. 

Last year, Shepard became the first Irish player since Jacqueline Batteast in 2002 to record five straight double-doubles, doing so from March 3 vs FSU to March 24 vs Texas A&M. Shepard actually came one board shy vs Oregon from making it six straight, which would have been a program record.

Young has garnered four double-doubles over the last five games. She has achieved eight double-doubles this season, which breaks the program record for a guard. Young had five total from the previous two years. In addition, her 13 career double-doubles surpasses Niele Ivey for 2nd most all-time by a guard . Top spot belongs to Lindsay Schrader (17).

The entire Irish team. Over the last five games, the Irish have averaged 96.4 points per game on 53.9 percent shooting. Notre Dame has dished out 128 assists on 192 made field goals, which accounts for assists on 2/3 of their baskets. 

— ND —