Green Nails

NCAA 1st & 2nd Rounds: Notre Dame

NCAA 1st Round: #1 Notre Dame (30-3) vs #16 Bethune-Cookman (21-10)
 When:  Saturday, March 23 | 11 am ET
 Where:  Notre Dame, Ind. | Purcell Pavilion (9,149)
 Watch:  ESPN2 | WatchESPN
 Listen:  Pulse FM 96.9/92.1/103.1 | Bob Nagle (PxP) 
 Notes:  Notre Dame
 Social:  @NDWBB
 Reminder:  Irish have a clear bag policy for the 2018-19 season and moving forward

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – It’s green nails time at Notre Dame. The No. 1 seeded Fighting Irish women’s basketball team open their NCAA Championship campaign against No. 16 seeded Bethune-Cookman on Saturday, March 23, at 11 a.m. ET, inside Purcell Pavilion. The game will air live locally on ESPN2. 

Notre Dame begins its 26th NCAA Championship in 2019 and 24th in a row. Their 24 straight appearances are the fourth longest active streak in the country and fifth best all-time.

Most Consecutive NCAA Berths
No. School Streak Years

1. Tennessee 38 1982-2019*
2. Stanford 32 1988-2019*
3. UConn 31 1989-2019*
4. Louisiana Tech 25 1982-2011
5. Notre Dame 24 1996-2019*
* denotes active streak

The Irish are 62-23 all-time in the NCAA Tournament. Their 62 wins are tied for fifth best all-time. Notre Dame joins Louisiana Tech, Baylor, USC and Stanford with two NCAA titles behind only UConn (11) and Tennessee (8). 

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

The starting fivesome of Ogunbowale, Young, Mabrey, Shepard and Turner are officially the most prolific scoring group in NCAA Division I history. The ND five have amassed 9,751 points and have a good chance to be the first group to ever accumulate 10,000 points. The 2017-18 Ohio State squad is in second place wiht 8,492 points. The highest total on the men’s side – the 2008-09 North Carolina team with 8,216 points.

Notre Dame enters the NCAA Tournament with a 30-3 overall record, marking the program’s ninth consecutive 30-win season and 11th in school history. Nationally, only UConn has a longer active streak of 30-win seasons at 14, while Baylor matches the Irish with a streak that began in 2010-11

For the ninth time in program history, the Irish are a No. 1 seed in the Big Dance. Notre Dame has now been named a No. 1 seed eight years in a row, which is the best active streak in the country. In addition, Notre Dame is 36-6 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 14th time. The Irish are 20-2 in NCAA play inside Purcell Pavilion, including the winners of 14 straight. Both of the losses have come against Minnesota, with the Golden Gophers upsetting the Irish in both 1994 and 2009 during games that pitted the No. 7 seeded Irish vs No. 10 seeded Minnesota.

Eleven of the 13 years when Notre Dame has hosted, the games were first and second round matchups. The lone exceptions came in 1983 and 2014 when the Irish played host to a regional. In 2014, Notre Dame downed Oklahoma State and Baylor to advance to the Final Four in Nashville, Tennessee. Serving as a neutral site in 1983, Georgia beat Tennessee to advance to the Final Four in Norfolk, Virginia, after beating Indiana and Ole Miss, respectively

Arike Ogunbowale became Notre Dame’s all-time scoring leader on Feb. 21 vs Duke. The senior surpassed Skylar Diggins-Smith’s record of 2,357 career points. In addition, Ogunbowale is just 1-of-5 Irish greats to score over 2,000 points, joining Ruth Riley, Katryna Gaither, Beth (Morgan) Cunningham and of course Skylar Diggins-Smith. Ogunbowale now sits with 2,471 career points.

Then on March 9 in the ACC Semis vs Syracuse, Marina Mabrey became Notre Dame’s three point shooting record holder. Mabrey went 4-for-9 from deep, surpassing Alicia Ratay (262). The senior now boasts 265 career made threes.

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.

In addition, the team averages 20.6 assists/game which ranks 4th in the nation, as Mabrey and Young both average over 4.5 assists/game and rank within the top 5 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.

The Irish boast 12 RPI top 25 wins, which not only leads the country, but essentially doubles the next best team. Notre Dame boasts wins over Louisville (x2), Iowa, NC State, Syracuse (x2), Marquette, Gonzaga, DePaul, Drake, Florida State and Oregon State. Louisville is in second with seven, followedy by Baylor and UConn with six.

The Irish also boast 10 top-25 ranked wins and FOUR against the top 10 – both lead the nation.