Notre Dame-UConn IV (or XII) Will Be Second Semifinal

by Categorized: Notre Dame women's basketball, UConn women's basketball Date:

Not hard to understand why ESPN has decided that Sunday’s national semifinal game between Notre Dame at UConn will the second of the night’s games.

That means a starting time of about 8:30.

The first game will be California vs. the winner of Tennessee/Louisville

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47 thoughts on “Notre Dame-UConn IV (or XII) Will Be Second Semifinal

  1. Uconn forever

    Just watched Duke be being beaten by ND–it wasn’t a rout. Duke actually lead at the half. Their game plan was to attack the ND offensive basket and use quick hands to take the ball away and control the rebounds. McBride was taken out of effective use by close tight defense by a taller player–the French kid did a great job on McBride. diggie babe had two fouls before the 4.5 minute mark with 15.5 remaining in the first half. Refs were not falling for the leanins or the falling or the pouting. Duke did their scoring within 12 feet of the basket. Allowed their basket open and didn’t get many offensive rebounds.
    Their game plan was good, execution not great. by duke.

    Uconn by 10..

    John your VOTE 1 and 3 are the same–squeaker and close are the same.

  2. JR

    If Hartley isn’t awful and the Frosh play well, UConn wins. However, Jefferson was eaten alive by Diggins in the Big East title game. That can’t happen again.

    1. Awareness

      The play of Stewart should make up for our other weaknesses. That is someone ND just can’t do anything about.

    2. SR

      Geno has to come up with some new game plan. UConn will make their usual turnovers that make Geno pull his hair out. Skip passes by Dolson will lead to turnovers. Cross court passes by Doty and Faris will lead to turnovers. Hartley dribbling up by her head will lead to turnovers. UConn can’t assume they will make 16 3s. So something has to be done to make up for their turnovers. Why not face guard both Diggins and McBride. Make Ochanwa and Loyd beat UConn.

      1. JR

        “The play of Stewart should make up for our other weaknesses. That is someone ND just can’t do anything about.”

        I don’t know about that. ND will be far, far more physical with her than Kentucky was. We’ll see how much she has truly adapted.

        Keeping Diggins on the outside would be helpful and that’s where Jefferson’s “D” comes into play. Where I’m concerned is on offense. Diggins hangs on players all the way up the court and the refs allow it. Can Jefferson get around her repeatedly?

        It’s hard to face-guard ND players because they are great at moving without the ball. IMO, keeping Diggins away from the basket and rebounding are crucial.

        Last meeting the Huskies didn’t hit a three. They looked much better not chucking as many the last two games too so you’d think they’d want to move the ball inside, but ND is great at moving in front of drivers.

        Lots of things for Auriemma to think about before Sunday.

  3. Gerri

    NCAA should come out with MOCB award and for the last four years Miss Headband would win hands down. Oh yea, It stands for Most Outstanding Cry Baby. When it wasn’t going her way tonite she actually was up in the ref’s grill. UC to clean your clock and it won’t be close this time. Go UConn

    1. Gerri the Geno Juicer

      Skylar & Muffet 7
      Kelly & Geno 1

      Gerri the tough guy on the internet mocking Skylar who will make more money playing basketball and working for ESPN and making movies than you ever could dream of.

        1. Gerri the Geno Juicer

          Geno 7 titles.
          Hartley 0
          Dolson 0
          KML 0
          Faris 1 (thanks to Tina, Maya, Kalana)
          Doty 1 (thanks to Tina, Maya, Kalana)
          Tiff 2 (thanks to Renee, Tina, Maya)

          your present UConn team has not won anything on their own :-)

          1. JR

            Maybe if she quit trash-talking and chest-thumping, she wouldn’t be mocked. People don’t generally warm to that kind of behavior.



      1. JOE WILLIE

        If you were a UConn fan – and if you read JA’s blog – you would know that even before the Elite Eight – Geno guaranteed UConn would defeat Notre Dame in the very next game

        1. JR

          Well, I am a UConn fan but I didn’t see that comment. Now I have and I don’t think a rah-rah moments in front of the Middlesex Chamber of Commerce means a whole lot.

  5. nhntc47

    Uconn beat down teams that ND barely got by. If the Huskies don’t play scared, they’ll win. Uconn is the better team.
    That Louisville girls Monique Reid (anyone’s heard of her?)calmly sank two free throws and won the game for Louisville. Our girls just threw brick when it mattered the most. I hope it won’t happen again.

    1. Jake, from State Farm

      Baylor is the better team. Not Louisville. But Baylor isn’t playing. If UConn loses to ND for the 4th time in the Final Four, for the 4th time this season, and for the 8th time in 9 games, it will just reinforce that Geno is an average coach against equally talented teams. In fact if UConn loses to ND, Geno will be 7-7 in semi-finals and 2-4 in the last 6 semi-finals.

    2. Bracchus

      Sometimes team A beats team B. Team B beats team C. Then team C beats team A.

      Point is that it is all about the matchups.

      Here is what you have with ND-UCONN. Two teams that played 3 close games this past season. Two teams who play great defense and have scorers. Two teams with great coaches.

      There is no reason why this shoulkd not be another great game. The team with the least amount of turnovers will probably win if it is close. Coaches should emphasize not taking unnecessary chances on vulnerable passes and protecting the ball generally.

      Both teams have physically gifted players. a significant aspect of this game will be the mental component.

      Personally, I think that this game is unpredictable. I also think that is great for women’s basketball. It is also great that Louisville has become the giant killer. It will be interesting to see how far they can go.

  6. Calm Before The Storm

    Stewart or Tuck or Jefferson (or Loyd) might be overwhelmed for part or the entire game. Geno simply doesn’t trust Stokes on offense, despite her shot blocking and rebounding on defense. Would be surprised to see Stokes play more than 1 minute in the first half. The two seniors Doty and Faris have to lead by example, which means avoid the usual stupid passes. Hartley has to protect the ball. Geno has to play Dolson in the low post to get to the FT. Don’t give a rats ass how good a passer Dolson is. Notre Dame will jump her wireless skip passes. Faris, Hartley, and Dolson cannot afford to miss layups or easy put backs. Geno says KML can’t shoot enough. But the reality is too many KML shots leaves 4 people watching. Just ask Maya.

    1. Bracchus

      Doty? Are you kidding? Her presence in the game seems more symbolic than substantive at this point. She can’t handle any of ND’s guards. That was glaringly apparent in the triple overtime loss when Geno stuck with her inexplicably.

      Geno seems to think that she brings to UCONN what Diggins brings to ND without the offense, defense and court leadership.

      I think you go with Mo Jeff and take your chances. She is fast and has much better ball handling skills than Doty. She can also attack the rim. The charade of Doty starting needs to end.

  7. Gerri the Geno Juicer

    Skylar may never win a national championship. But she pisses you off so much that you go on the internet and profess your hatred towards her. She not only has won 7 out of 8 games against UConn, she continues to win against you. She owns you. You just can’t stop publicly commenting about her. Because you can’t get her out of your mind. LOSERS.

    1. Bracchus

      Skylar is a spirited player. Some of the same people who were praising the Louisville guard Shmimell for getting in Griner’s face and essentially taunting, are so turned off by Skylar’s displays of emotion which are directed only towards herself and her teammates.

      Diggins is an excellent player-period. She took that Duke game over offensively and defensively last night. She is a leader and a coach on the floor.

      Detracting from the opposition doesn’t make UCONN better.

    2. Steve Gee

      “Skylar may never win a national championship. But she pisses you off so much that you go on the internet and profess your hatred towards her. She not only has won 7 out of 8 games against UConn, she continues to win against you. She owns you. You just can’t stop publicly commenting about her. Because you can’t get her out of your mind. LOSERS.”

      Says the juice-head that trolls on the UConn blog.

    3. browns

      In 3 games the Pouting Princess has shot 20-61 with TWENTY turn overs!That’s pathetic.If you want to say Mcbride has owned them ,o-k,but not Miss pimadonna.

  8. Keith

    A lot of interesting comments above. Even without B Banks which hurts us most against a team list N Dame- we will win this game. I think we are a better team. Even with ND better guard play. Hartley is playing much better , moving great and was playing phenomenal defense vs Kentucky. Stewart’s improvement, with Tuck’s and Jeffersons as well makes us deeper and more talented and balanced. I don’t think we wilt this time. UC by 7-9!!!!!! Dolson’s mobility is my biggest worry!

    1. Notre Dame is not Kentucky

      It’s a fine line between announcers or fans saying a team has a deep bench or a thin bench. Stanford’s excuse was a young inexperienced bench, despite having 15 or so players. Even without Banks, UConn has a deep bench in blowouts, because Stokes, Jefferson, Tuck, and Stewart couldn’t screw things up. But against equal talent, it doesn’t matter what happened in previous games. Geno has an anti-trust switch in his head, so certain players just sit.

      1. JR

        Do you think he’s going to sit the three freshmen after what they’ve shown recently? He knows they are the potential difference makers. Stokes is the only one this may apply to but he’ll go to her if Dolson can’t play and size becomes a big factor.

      2. Bracchus

        That is unfortunate, primarily for Stokes. If your coach is using you reluctantly, you know it. Or worse yet, just nails you to the bench.

        The thing is that Stokes has talents that could help and provide some rest for Dolson. I would play her down low and have her focus on defense, rebounds and put backs. She would be fine.

        To Kia I would say that during the summer you should develop some offensive moves. If you don’t, and they bring in another big which I believe they are recruiting,you may become Heather Buck which would be a complete waste. Whoever coaches the bigs on UCONN could have done a lot more to develop Kia.

        1. Steve Gee

          How would we know what the UConn coaches have done (or not done) to develop Kia?
          Also, how would we know what she herself has done (in practice and on her own)?
          I know you’re a Stokes fan, but perhaps the reason she doesn’t get more playing time is Kia herself ?
          We’re not at the practices, the coaches are. I would think they are in a position to see more than we are.

          1. V.I.

            Steve Gee/Bracc—I love stoke and she has tremendous potential–POTENTIAL. She has a great shot inside or at 12 feet. She can defend under the basket.
            Have you actually watched her ?? In the Kentucky game,first half, she ran around the top of the key with out a clue of what to do. Took a pass and brought it down —it was taken, she did this twice.
            She belongs under the basket and defending the corners. But her head isn’t really into the game.
            If she ever wakes up–she could be great. I love the potential. Geno instructed her on the bench when he took her out—if she was worthless he’d put her down and walk away.

          2. Steve Gee

            I agree, and I see the same with Stokes ( similar to Buck in that respect).
            The worst thing about “potential” is the only time someone hears of it, is when they’re not living up to it.

            My response to Brac was simply to suggest that the UConn coaching staff surely has more info and insight than we do as to what keeps Kia’s minutes limited. And it’s highly likely it’s because of Kia, and not the coach or coaches fault for her not progressing.

          3. V.I.

            Steve Gee—I absolutely agree that Geno and his staff see what’s happening with Kiah. We only see her in games.
            The Buck comment is true.

            However, I believe, that Stokes shall see the light (hopefully in the ND game) and shall be a force next year.
            She has so much more talent than Buck ever had. Maybe MO JO , Banks and Stewies will speak to her over the summer.
            Banks will be sorryfully missed in the ND game–her defense on Diggins could be a game changer.

          4. Bracchus

            You aree correct. I do not have that information. I am speculating.

            So, I think that we would both agree that Kia should do some work on her offense over the summer.

            I also think used in a limited role until she develops that offense she could be reasonably effective.

            I think also that a part of Kia’s problem is demeanor. Her body language does not convey energy. Someone needs to speak with her about that if they have not. The problem there is that good opponents will pick up on that and use it. She needs to show more energy.

            Having said that, there are some players that just do not look like they are into it. Frankly, I thought Griner fell into that role on occasion. I always thought that she could have been far more aggressive.

            Some of it is perception. But, as to Kia, when she gets in she has to take advantage of it.

            You are right. I am a Stokes fan and maybe have somewhat of a blind spot ecause of it.

  9. Keith

    The prior two years IMO- N Dame was a better team-for all the Geno haters! They were deeper and older and were just plain better. Not the case this year!!!

  10. Marty

    Three “Big East” team now in the Final Four! Next year, each of the three will be playing in different leagues. How sad….

  11. robert

    Its a shame we don’t have good guards this year. Doty along for the ride, Heartly lost her heart.Faris good on D. The freshman is starting to develop. We really missed Banks.

  12. Rlyon21

    Surprised no comments here about the deplorable talent of the Zeeebras who have certainly had negative impacts on the flow of the game. If any refs from the last Baylor game, or uconn game, even step on the floor the game will be another game of Women’s Clobberball. I don’t blame Mulkey or Geno one bit for cursing the refs. As usual another NCAA failure to select, evaluate, or supervise. Very bad from women’s bball!

  13. Rlyon21

    Here’s one for ya. Diggins TWO FOULS n first minutes n sits down. Diggins ZERO fouls in rest of game! Be serious!
    See my revving comment above. Preferential treatment by the incompetents again! Diggings is a certainly a skilled player … And an enhanced and most favored banger ass well.

  14. David

    UCONN in a ROUT! Stewart and Jefferson will be the difference makers this time around. Notre Dame barely beats teams that we crush…ie: Duke! GO HUSKIES!!!

  15. Lynne

    It’ll be close, but the bench play of the Huskies in the tournament has been nothing less than awesome! If anyone had ever told me that UC would eat KY by thirty with Stef scoring only 2 pts. the entire game, I’d have told them they were nuts…yet there it is.

    I don’t think ND is ready for the freshman emergence, because they did not see it in any of the regular season or BE losses. This is a new strategy executed by Geno & Co. and it’s working beautifully. I say UCONN by seven. And, let’s not forget that this is NOT the Championship game!

  16. Steve Gee

    Kentucky threw a lot of pressure D with active hands at the Huskies, and as the game progressed UConn handled it better and better. That was the best I’ve seen UConn handle that kind of pressure all season.
    That game was good prep for this game against ND.
    Add the renewed play of Stewart, the improvement of Mo Jeff- now Hartley is playing more consistently, Tuck is an improving asset on offense and defense, and I think UConn is a better team since the BE tourney. I just hope Dolson’s legs hold up.

    It may be a rose-colored-glasses assessment, but I think it all adds up to a UConn victory.
    We’ll find out soon enough.

    Wish list item: We’re not inclined to talk about the officiating after this game. I want the refs to be largely unnoticed as it pertains to the outcome.

  17. V.I.

    Steve Gee/Others—Rose colored glasses are what REAL fans are supposed to have. If we don’t believe our team shall win, why watch it??
    I think Jefferson grew 15 inches in the Kentuk game. If Diggins takes the ball away–don’t take her out. Diggins has stolen balls from very good guards. Take a page out of Dukes handling diggy and the ND in your face defense, it worked. Take a page out of their offense it worked.
    I think the keys to ND game is to stop McBride with a big guarding her (Stokes??) sticking to her like glue.
    Rebound and take away ND’s inside game. But that’s just me.
    I believe in Geno–if that’s drinking Geno wine (NOT Aide) then I take a case. The guy has been unbelieveable in pulling out wins–but you have to have talent that believes. I think this group finally does.

  18. MaryAnne Hartley

    Steve Gee–1 correction and one comment.

    Correction—Mo Jeff is now Uconn’s MO JO.
    Comment–If the refs do one of two things–it will be fair (not fun). 1) Let them play 2)Call EVERY REAL foul (the not fun part)
    I liked the Jeff Walz thing–make them look at the monitor on some fouls. It slows down the game, true. But it puts the player and the Refs on notice to watch for that kind of foul.
    Diggy tends to slap the ball away from behind, 7 out of 10 times she fouls doing it.
    In the Duke game McBride got NO calls jumping into defenders. Hope that holds true.

  19. Gerri

    To Miss Headband supporters here’s a prediction. After ND gets thumped, because UC’s not going to Give them the game, the first time she gets knocked on her butt in the WNBA and starts to wine about it she will realize real quick that there isn’t going to be anyone around to pick her up and kiss it. Fair pro at best and will make her teammates regret having her on their team. Suprima Primadonna. Go Uconn!

  20. Sporty

    Notre Dame fan here. Those of you who log on to espn chat know me well, and hate me. It’s great to see Skylar getting so much grief here, too. It shows how much she’s decimated your team. Green is such an ugly color on a Uconn fan.

    1. Bracchus

      I am a UCONN fan. Geno is problematical for me though. Anyway, Skylar Diggins is an attractive, intelligent and a gifted basketball player. She represents the university well. I have no problem with her style of play. It is spirited. She says that she hates losing more than she enjoys winning.

      Bottom line-there are some here who feel that they have to denigrate a worthy opponent in order to support their team. You do not.

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