Notre Dame hosting regionalPublished 9:28am Friday, March 28, 2014
While it may be home sweet home for Notre Dame in the regional round of the NCAA tournament, this weekend’s games will be no picnic for the Fighting Irish.
Notre Dame (34-0) will face Oklahama State (25-8) in the second regional semifinal at Purcell Pavilion Saturday. Tip-off is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. and can be seen on ESPN.
In the first semifinal, Baylor (31-4) will take on Kentucky (26-8) at noon. The Bears and Wildcats are no strangers to each other having met earlier this year. Kentucky picked up the 133-130 win in quadruple overtime.
ND vs. OSU
This is Notre Dame’s 12th Sweet 16 appearance. The Fighting Irish have reached five Final Fours, including the last three. Notre Dame’s lone national championship came in 2001.
Notre Dame, with an overall NCAA Tournament record of 43-19, has key wins against Tennessee, Duke, Penn State, Maryland and North Carolina.
The Cowgirls are in the Sweet 16 for only the third time in school history. Oklahoma State also advanced to the regional round in 1991 and 2008. It has an overall NCAA Tournament record of 10-11.
The Cowgirls’ key wins came against Purdue, Michigan State, Texas, Iowa State and USC.
The Fighting Irish are led by a three-headed monster in Jewell Loyd, Kayla McBride and Natalie Achonwa.
Loyd and McBride, who were both named All-Region earlier this week, lead the team in scoring with averages of 18.4 and 17.4 points per game. Achonwa is averaging 14.5 points per game and 7.5 rebounds.