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2017–18 Notre Dame Fighting Irish women's basketball team

The 2017–18 Notre Dame Fighting Irish women's basketball team represented the University of Notre Dame during the 2017–18 NCAA Division I women's basketball season. The Fighting Irish, led by thirty-first year head coach Muffet McGraw, played their home games at Edmund P. Joyce Center as members of the Atlantic Coast Conference. McGraw was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame at the start of the season. The Irish finished the season 35–3, 15–1 in ACC play to earn a share of the regular season championship. They defeated Virginia and Florida State before losing to Louisville in the ACC Women's Tournament championship. They received an at-large bid as the No. 1 seed in the Spokane region. They defeated Cal State Northridge and Villanova to advance to the Sweet Sixteen. There they defeated Texas A&M and Oregon to advance to the Final Four. After upsetting then-unbeaten Connecticut 91–89 in overtime in the Final Four, Notre Dame played Mississippi State in the national championship. The Irish edged the Bulldogs 61–58 by Arike Ogunbowale's three-pointer with 0.1 seconds left on the clock, capturing their second national title in 18 years. The Irish became the first team in NCAA Women's Basketball history to trail by double digits in both the semifinal and National Championship games and come back to win.

2017–18 Notre Dame Fighting Irish women's basketball
Notre Dame Fighting Irish logo.svg
NCAA Tournament National Champions
ACC regular season co-champions
Gulf Coast Showcase champions
ConferenceAtlantic Coast Conference
Ranking
CoachesNo. 1
APNo. 5
2017–18 record35–3 (15–1 ACC)
Head coachMuffet McGraw (31st season)
Associate head coachCarol Owens (18th season)
Assistant coachNiele Ivey (11th season)
Assistant coachBeth Cunningham (6th season)
Home arenaEdmund P. Joyce Center
Seasons
2017–18 ACC women's basketball standings
Conf     Overall
Team W   L   PCT     W   L   PCT
No. 3 Louisville *† 15 1   .938     36 3   .923
No. 5 Notre Dame 15 1   .938     35 3   .921
No. 11 Florida State 12 4   .750     26 7   .788
No. 21 NC State 11 5   .688     26 9   .743
No. 20 Duke 11 5   .688     24 9   .727
Syracuse 10 6   .625     22 9   .710
Miami (FL) 10 6   .625     21 11   .656
Virginia 10 6   .625     19 14   .576
Virginia Tech 6 10   .375     23 14   .622
Georgia Tech 6 10   .375     20 14   .588
Wake Forest 5 11   .313     14 17   .452
North Carolina 4 12   .250     15 16   .484
Pittsburgh 2 14   .125     10 20   .333
Boston College 2 14   .125     7 23   .233
Clemson 1 15   .063     11 19   .367
2018 ACC Tournament winner
*Tournament #1 seed
As of 31 March 2018; Rankings from AP Poll

Despite the team's record, its appearance in the championship game was seen as surprising because of its severely depleted roster. Two players missed the entire season to torn ACLs, and two others were lost to the same injury in December; this rash of injuries left the Irish with only seven scholarship players. Brianna Turner, an All-American forward in 2016–17, was injured in the 2017 NCAA tournament; senior guard Mychal Johnson was lost in a preseason practice, freshman center Mikayla Vaughn only played 6 games; and starting senior point guard Lili Thompson was lost on New Year's Eve. Before the championship game, McGraw told media, "I didn't think we'd have more ACL tears than losses. I think it's just an amazing accomplishment for this team and the resilience they've shown all year."[1][2]

Contents

OffseasonEdit

DeparturesEdit

Name Number Pos. Height Year Hometown Notes
Lindsay Allen 15 G 5'8" Senior Mitchellville, MD Graduated
Erin Boley 22 F 6'2" Freshman Hodgenville, KY Transferred to Oregon[3]
Ali Patberg 20 G 5'10" Sophomore Columbus, IN Transferred to Indiana
Diamond Thompson 35 C 6'5" Senior Wheaton, IL Graduated

RosterEdit

2017–18 Notre Dame Fighting Irish women's basketball team
Players Coaches
Pos. # Name Height Year Previous school Hometown
G 1 Lilli Thompson   5 ft 7 in (1.7 m) RS Sr Timberview
Stanford
Mansfield, TX
G 2 Kaitlin Cole 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m) So Sylvania Northview Toledo, OH
G 3 Marina Mabrey 5 ft 11 in (1.8 m) Jr Manasquan Belmar, NJ
G 5 Jackie Young 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m) So Princeton Community Princeton, IN
F 11 Brianna Turner     6 ft 3 in (1.91 m) Sr Manvel Pearland, TX
G 14 Mychal Johnson     5 ft 7 in (1.7 m) Sr Huntington St. Joseph Huntington, WV
G 20 Nicole Benz (W) 5 ft 8 in (1.73 m) Fr William S. Hart Valencia, CA
F 21 Kristina Nelson 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m) RS Sr Buford Buford, GA
F 23 Jessica Shepard 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m) Jr Fremont
Nebraska
Fremont, NE
G 24 Arike Ogunbowale 5 ft 8 in (1.73 m) Jr Divine Savior Holy Angels Milwaukee, WI
C 30 Mikayla Vaughn     6 ft 3 in (1.91 m) Fr Paul VI Catholic Philadelphia, PA
F 32 Danielle Patterson 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m) Fr The Mary Louis Academy Brooklyn, NY
F 33 Kathryn Westbeld 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m) Sr Ketting Fairmount Kettering, OH
F 40 Maureen Butler 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m) Jr Dearborn Divine Child Livonia, MI
Head coach
Assistant coach(es)

Legend
  • (C) Team captain
  • (S) Suspended
  • (I) Ineligible
  • (W) Walk-on

Roster

MediaEdit

All Notre Dame games will air on WHPZ Pulse 96.9 FM. Games are streamed online live.

RankingsEdit

Regular Season Polls
Poll Pre-
Season
Week
2
Week
3
Week
4
Week
5
Week
6
Week
7
Week
8
Week
9
Week
10
Week
11
Week
12
Week
13
Week
14
Week
15
Week
16
Week
17
Week
18
Week
19
Final
AP 6 6 6 3 3 2 2 2 2 2 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 N/A
Coaches 5 N/A 6 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 5 5 5 5 4 4 4 6 6 1 (32)
Legend
  Increase in ranking
  Decrease in ranking
  Not ranked previous week
(RV)   Received Votes

Schedule and resultsEdit

Date
time, TV
Rank# Opponent# Result Record Site (attendance)
city, state
Exhibition
Nov 01, 2017*
7:00 pm
No. 6 Indiana (PA) W 108–40 
Edmund P. Joyce Center (7,268)
South Bend, IN
Regular season
Nov 11, 2017*
1:00 pm, ACCN Extra
No. 6 Mount St. Mary's W 121–65  1–0
Edmund P. Joyce Center (7,418)
South Bend, IN
Nov 14, 2017*
8:00 pm, FCS
No. 6 at Western Kentucky W 78–65  2–0
E. A. Diddle Arena (5,061)
Bowling Green, KY
Nov 19, 2017*
2:00 pm, P12N
No. 6 at No. 18 Oregon State W 72–67  3–0
Gill Coliseum (7,570)
Corvallis, OR
Nov 24, 2017*
7:30 pm
No. 6 vs. East Tennessee State
Gulf Coast Showcase quarterfinals
W 77–46  4–0
Germain Arena 
Fort Myers, FL
Nov 25, 2017*
7:30 pm
No. 6 vs. No. 17 South Florida
Gulf Coast Showcase semifinals
W 76–66  5–0
Germain Arena 
Fort Myers, FL
Nov 26, 2017*
7:30 pm
No. 6 vs. No. 3 South Carolina
Gulf Coast Showcase finals
W 92–85  6–0
Germain Arena 
Fort Myers, FL
Nov 29, 2017*
6:00 pm, BTN
No. 3 at No. 22 Michigan
ACC–Big Ten Women's Challenge
W 83–63  7–0
Crisler Center (3,100)
Ann Arbor, MI
Dec 03, 2017*
4:00 pm, ESPN
No. 3 at No. 1 Connecticut
Jimmy V Classic/Rivalry
L 71–80  7–1
XL Center (15,564)
Hartford, CT
Dec 06, 2017*
7:00 pm, ACCN Extra
No. 3 Michigan State W 90–59  8–1
Edmund P. Joyce Center (9,149)
South Bend, IN
Dec 09, 2017*
1:00 pm, ILDN
No. 3 at Penn W 66–54  9–1
Palestra (1,647)
Philadelphia, PA
Dec 17, 2017*
1:00 pm, ACCN Extra
No. 2 DePaul W 91–82  10–1
Edmund P. Joyce Center (8,503)
South Bend, IN
Dec 20, 2017*
3:00 pm, ACCN Extra
No. 2 Marquette W 91–85 OT 11–1
Edmund P. Joyce Center (7,456)
South Bend, IN
Dec 28, 2017
7:00 pm, ACCN Extra
No. 2 Syracuse W 87–72  12–1
(1–0)
Edmund P. Joyce Center (8,288)
South Bend, IN
Dec 31, 2017
1:00 pm, ACCN Extra
No. 2 at Wake Forest W 96–73  13–1
(2–0)
LVJM Coliseum (731)
Winston-Salem, NC
Jan 04, 2018
7:00 pm, ACCN Extra
No. 2 Miami (FL) W 83–76  14–1
(3–0)
Edmund P. Joyce Center (7,828)
South Bend, IN
Jan 07, 2018
2:00 pm, ACCN Extra
No. 2 at Georgia Tech W 77–54  15–1
(4–0)
McCamish Pavilion (1,601)
Atlanta, GA
Jan 11, 2018
7:00 pm, ESPN
No. 2 at No. 3 Louisville L 67–100  15–2
(4–1)
KFC Yum! Center (12,614)
Louisville, KY
Jan 14, 2018
1:00 pm, ACCN Extra
No. 2 Boston College W 89–60  16–2
(5–1)
Edmund P. Joyce Center (8,208)
South Bend, IN
Jan 18, 2018*
7:00 pm, ESPN
No. 5 No. 6 Tennessee W 84–70  17–2
Edmund P. Joyce Center (8,733)
South Bend, IN
Jan 21, 2018
1:00 pm, ACCN Extra
No. 5 Clemson W 90–37  18–2
(6–1)
Edmund P. Joyce Center (8,479)
South Bend, IN
Jan 25, 2018
7:00 pm, ACCN Extra
No. 5 at Pittsburgh W 87–53  19–2
(7–1)
Petersen Events Center (760)
Pittsburgh, PA
Jan 28, 2018
4:00 pm, ESPN2
No. 5 at No. 8 Florida State W 100–69  20–2
(8–1)
Donald L. Tucker Civic Center (9,498)
Tallahassee, FL
Feb 01, 2018
7:00 pm, ACCN Extra
No. 5 North Carolina W 94–62  21–2
(9–1)
Edmund P. Joyce Center (7,617)
South Bend, IN
Feb 04, 2018
1:00 pm, ESPN2
No. 5 at No. 19 Duke W 72–54  22–2
(10–1)
Cameron Indoor Stadium (5,724)
Durham, NC
Feb 11, 2018
1:00 pm, RSN
No. 5 Georgia Tech W 85–69  23–2
(11–1)
Edmund P. Joyce Center (8,421)
South Bend, IN
Feb 15, 2018
7:00 pm, ACCN Extra
No. 5 at Virginia W 83–69  24–2
(12–1)
John Paul Jones Arena (3,038)
Charlottesville, VA
Feb 18, 2018
1:00 pm, ACCN Extra
No. 5 at Boston College W 89–55  25–2
(13–1)
Conte Forum (2,009)
Chestnut Hill, MA
Feb 22, 2018
7:00 pm, ACCN Extra
No. 5 Virginia Tech W 89–59  26–2
(14–1)
Edmund P. Joyce Center (8,053)
South Bend, IN
Feb 25, 2018
2:00 pm, ESPN2
No. 5 No. 21 NC State W 86–67  27–2
(15–1)
Edmund P. Joyce Center (8,786)
South Bend, IN
ACC Women's Tournament
Mar 02, 2018
6:00 pm, ACCN Extra
(2) No. 5 vs. (7) Virginia
Quarterfinals
W 83–47  28–2
Greensboro Coliseum 
Greensboro, NC
Mar 03, 2018
2:30 pm, ESPNU
(2) No. 5 vs. (3) No. 11 Florida State
Semifinals
W 90–80  29–2
Greensboro Coliseum (6,160)
Greensboro, NC
Mar 04, 2018
2:00 pm, ESPN2
(2) No. 5 vs. (1) No. 4 Louisville
Championship
L 72–74  29–3
Greensboro Coliseum (7,424)
Greensboro, NC
NCAA Women's Tournament
Mar 16, 2018*
5:00 pm, ESPN2
(1 S) No. 5 (16 S) Cal State Northridge
First Round
W 99–81  30–3
Edmund P. Joyce Center 
South Bend, IN
Mar 18, 2018*
7:00 pm, ESPN
(1 S) No. 5 (9 S) Villanova
Second Round
W 98–72  31–3
Edmund P. Joyce Center (4,249)
South Bend, IN
Mar 24, 2018*
4:00 pm, ESPN
(1 S) No. 5 vs. (4 S) No. 14 Texas A&M
Sweet Sixteen
W 90–84  32–3
Spokane Arena 
Spokane, WA
Mar 26, 2018*
9:00 pm, ESPN
(1 S) No. 5 vs. (2 S) No. 6 Oregon
Elite Eight
W 84–74  33–3
Spokane Arena (5,226)
Spokane, WA
Mar 30, 2018*
9:00 pm, ESPN2
(1 S) No. 5 vs. (1 A) No. 1 Connecticut
Final Four/Rivalry
W 91–89 OT 34–3
Nationwide Arena (19,564)
Columbus, OH
Apr 01, 2018*
6:00 pm, ESPN
(1 S) No. 5 vs. (1 KC) No. 4 Mississippi State
Championship Game
W 61–58  35–3
Nationwide Arena (19,599)
Columbus, OH
*Non-conference game. #Rankings from AP Poll. (#) Tournament seedings in parentheses. S=Spokane Region.
All times are in Eastern.

Source[4]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Mandell, Nina (March 31, 2018). "Notre Dame players suffered four ACL injuries this year. But they're still on the brink of a national title". USA Today. Retrieved April 2, 2018.
  2. ^ Voepel, Mechelle (April 2, 2018). "Unlikely buzzer-beating shot brings unlikely title for Muffet McGraw's resilient Fighting Irish". ESPN.com. Retrieved April 2, 2018.
  3. ^ Karell, Daniel (May 30, 2017). "Elizabethtown's Erin Boley picks Oregon as destination after leaving Notre Dame". The Courier-Journal. Louisville, KY. Retrieved December 25, 2017.
  4. ^ "2017–18 Notre Dame Fighting Irish women's basketball schedule". Notre Dame Fighting Irish.