"'What though the odds, ' that's part of our fight song", McGraw said.
She did just that and showed that, besides athletics, that she has a flair for the dramatic. With 6-foot-7 Teaira McCowan fouled out, you could think Notre Dame may go inside to Jessica Shepard, who had been as consistent all tournament with her back to the basket.
What else would you say? That group included Louisville, Notre Dame, Ohio State, UCLA and Wisconsin.
Arike Ogunbowale did it again.
The court was cleared, and Mississippi State tossed a futile inbounds pass into the lane as the buzzer sounded. The only difference? Ogunbowale wasn't sure the ball was going in against the Huskies.
The game was everything that could be imagined for a national championship, although it was sloppy at times. "It's hard to describe it". Jess just kicked it to me, and I was like, 'Okay, Marina, it's time.
That's the kind of combination of strategy and execution that earned Vic Schaefer a reputation as an elite defensive coach, a couple of national coach of the year trophies and a national championship in 2011 against none other than the Irish, who had upset Tennessee and CT before losing 76-70 to a Texas A&M team with Shaefer on the staff in the championship game.
Notre Dame has been a second half team the entire season. "I know my lil sis @jewellloyd is happy Well done @ndwbb good luck on Sunday #mambamentality".
None of this seemed possible with the Bulldogs leading 40-27 at halftime.
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Before the final shot, she scored 13 points in the second half as her team willed itself back into the game, including nine in the pivotal third quarter.
Ogunbowale's shot capped the biggest comeback in NCAA championship history. That wasn't going to stop her.
After Ogunbowale's clutch shot, the officials huddled and put one-tenth of a second on the clock. And I didn't get them home today. No matter if I'm 1 for 20 or whatever. I wanted to go into business and they have the No. 1 business school.
A 16-1 run to end the third quarter tied the game. In the final moments, Young found Ogunbowale on the inbound and she finished with a three-pointer for the win. Still, she managed to throw up a fadeaway 3-pointer. Then Jackie Young tied the game with 46 seconds left. That set up a Notre Dame side-out with three seconds left. Ogwunbowale and Shepard combined for 15 of the team's 24 points.
"We've proven again and again that we can overcome so much, whether that's injuries or being down", Butler said Thursday before practice while Thompson studied for a finance exam in the next locker. "I don't know. I guess it just finally came true". ". Definitely one of the best Final Fours since, well, 2001, right?"
"Three phenomenal games", McGraw said. "The crowd was tremendous tonight".
That, of course, is the last time the Irish cut down the nets in championship fashion.
They had a lot to enjoy, especially Irish fans.
"The kid made a heck of a shot", he said. "Thank you Jesus on Easter Sunday".