wbb harvard gameday

Game 1 Preview: Harvard

Game 1: #1 Notre Dame (0-0) vs. Harvard (0-0)
When:  Friday, Nov. 9 | 4:00 pm ET
Where:  Notre Dame, Ind. | Purcell Pavilion (9,149)
Watch:  ACCN Extra Stream
Listen:  Pulse FM 96.9/92.1/103.1 | Bob Nagle (PxP) | Listen Online
Live Scoring:  StatBroadcast
Notes:  Notre Dame | Harvard
Social:  @NDWBB
Parking:  Friday Parking Map | Release
Reminder:  Irish have a clear bag policy for the 2018-19 season and moving forward

Sitting just 12 wins away from 900 in her career, Coach McGraw is quickly approaching another major milestone. In fact, McGraw is on pace to become the fourth fastest Division I coach to reach the 900 career win milestone:
Geno Auriemma – 1,034 games
Pat Summitt – 1,072 games
Tara VanDerveer – 1,104 games

Light it up, Grace Hall. The Irish are ranked No. 1 in the AP, espnW and USA Today polls. It marks the second time Notre Dame will begin the season ranked No. 1 (prior was 2016-17), but the first time in both polls. Notre Dame has only been ranked No. 1 in the AP poll for a total of 10 weeks. The Irish occupied the top spot for six weeks back in their previous championship season in 2000-01. Then Notre Dame started the 2016-17 season at No. 1, lasting four weeks.

The Irish return four starters and their top-four scorers from last year in Ogunbowale, Mabrey, Shepard and Young. The foursome averaged a combined 65.3 points a year ago. When you factor in Brianna Turner’s 2016-17 average of 15.3 ppg and the returning scoring total shoots up to 80.6 ppg. This marks the most for a returning starting five over the last 15 years.

Recognizing her breakout performance last season and the senior’s potential this season, the Associated Press named Arike Ogunbowale a Preseason All-American. Ogunbowale joined Oregon’s Sabrina Ionescu, Louisville’s Asia Durr, UConn’s Katie Lou Samuelson and Baylor’s Kalani Brown on the list.

With the release of the AP Top-25, it’s official that the Irish will currently face a total of six ranked teams in its non-conference schedule in No. 2 UConn, No. 8 Oregon State/No. 10 South Carolina, No. 11 Tennessee, No. 13 Iowa, No. 15 DePaul and No. 19 Marquette. In fact, depending on how the Vancouver Showcase plays out, Notre Dame could potentially face three top-25 opponents in a row from Nov. 24-Dec. 2.

Furthermore, the ACC will once again be a grind. Currently five other teams are in the top-25, with an additional three receiving votes.

All the above should not be a surprise to Irish fans. Last year, Notre Dame had the No. 1 rated SOS and RPI, playing 16 teams who received a bid to the NCAA Tourney. Notre Dame was one of eight ACC clubs that made the field. That was the most in the nation and tied a league record set in both 2014 and in 2015.