The top ranked and undefeated UConn women's basketball team is out of the Final Four after a last second shot in overtime by Notre Dame. Louisville was about to celebrate a berth in the title game until Roshunda Johnson drained a 3-pointer with 5.7 seconds left, extending the game.
Most impressive was how Notre Dame kept its poise when it appeared to be on the verge of collapsing. Ogunbowale missed two free throws and Crystal Dangerfield tied it before Ogunbowale's game-winner.
The latest edition of the greatest current rivalry in women's basketball was quite a show, featuring impressive comebacks from each school. "Both games, hard fought battles and exciting for the fans".
That success has come despite Notre Dame losing four key contributors to knee injuries. The Huskies are 11-0 in national championship games.
"Coach (Muffet McGraw) trusted me with the ball", Ogunbowale said. The teams then exchanged scores and Jessica Shepherd made it 30-27 for the Irish.
"It was one of those games that was just a grind back and forth, back and forth", UConn guard Kia Nurse said.
We're guessing Notre Dame will take its chances with the so-called karma gods and continue to celebrate before turning their attention to Mississippi State for Sunday night's national championship game.
"It was pretty phenomenal", said Vivians, an All-American guard who had 25 points against Louisville. "Coach McGraw has been here for us through it all and for us to get a win for her and for the university in general would be huge". We'll spend a lot of time stretching especially with those kids that played a lot of minutes last night. "And going in, you never know who they're going to be", Auriemma said. "We can't seem to beat them in the finals, but this one to come from behind - well, to have led, squander that and come from behind with this team, this is really special".
Vivians was bold enough to ask for a picture taken with the former Lakers superstar.
"Yeah, but we didn't win", she said.
"Big shot by Arike, unbelievable", McGraw said. He was actually watching me out there!
Their reactions to Ogunbowale's game-winning shot might have even been better than the shot itself. "We are a @UConnWBB family but we love seeing great players making great plays", Bryant tweeted.
Arike tweeted back to him, "Wow, my life is complete". MSU's 6-foot-7 center Teaira McCowan scored 18 against the Black Bears. She posted just the third 20-20 game in women's Final Four history. Jackie Young led the Irish with 32 points and 11 rebounds. She was injured in the national semifinals her freshman season in 2016 and wasn't able to play in the final that the Huskies won against Syracuse. "Works the boards like nobody I've ever seen". She also grabbed the 1,000th rebound of her career. "She does it all the time in practice, so we weren't that surprised".
Schaefer learned a lot from last year's loss in the title game.
UConn set a not-so-good tone early with two turnovers in the first minute, and the Huskies ended the period with a half-dozen.
It's the shot that continues Notre Dame's never-quit season against fellow overtime victor Mississippi State (37-1) in the national championship game on Sunday. The Irish won in 2001 before falling short in the championship game in 2011, 2012, 2014 and 2015.