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Women’s NCAA predictions

| Friday, March 18, 2011


Andrew Owens – Sports Writer

Entering the 2011 NCAA tournament, all the talk surrounds the four No. 1 seeds – Connecticut, Stanford, Tennessee and Baylor. I don’t think Irish coach Muffet McGraw and her squad would have it any other way. This team has shown signs of being among the elite all season, and has come just short several times.

During the course of the next few weeks, the nation will take notice that the Big East consists of more than just UConn. There will be a rematch of the Big East championship game, a contest won by the Huskies, 73-64, but this time the Irish will prevail.

They usually say the third time’s the charm, but this year it will be the fourth that will be magical for Notre Dame, as they knock off their arch rival in Indianapolis to advance to the championship game, where they will lose to Stanford.

The emergence of freshman forward Natalie Achonwa will give the Irish added frontcourt depth and sophomore guard Skylar Diggins will break out as the Irish come extremely close to capturing an NCAA championship on the 10-year anniversary of the program’s only title.

Laura Myers – Sports Writer

Indianapolis. The Final Four is in Indianapolis.

I can’t get that out of my head.

Another rematch for Notre Dame and Connecticut, this time in the NCAA semifinals, in Indianapolis. What a scenario.

Half of South Bend would drive the 138 miles down 31 to see that game, if it occurs.

Connecticut will be there. Notre Dame will probably have to get past either Tennessee or Ohio State, two incredibly prolific offenses which would mount a real challenge to Notre Dame’s press.

I’m not positive the Irish make it to Indianapolis. But if they do, they’re going to beat Connecticut and play in the championship game.

I’m not saying they beat Baylor, either, but remember: The Irish played the Bears pretty close in Waco earlier this season.

And this time, they’d be in Indianapolis.