Women's Basketball 2015 NCAA Tournament Oklahoma City Regional Final Game Breakdown

Oklahoma City Regional Final Game Breakdown


#1 Notre Dame vs. #2 Baylor, 8:30 p.m. Sunday (Oklahoma City, Oklahoma)

And so we have a 1 vs. 2 matchup in the Oklahoma City regional between two storied women’s basketball powerhouses. Notre Dame reached the regional finals with an 81-60 win over Stanford in the teams’ first matchup since November 1991. The Fighting Irish carry a 34-2 record into Sunday’s game, and head coach Muffet McGraw is trying for her seventh trip to the Final Four and her second overall title. Notre Dame has two big victories apiece over Florida State and Louisville, in addition to wins over Maryland and Tennessee. Notre Dame has a 49-20 record in 22 trips to the NCAA tournament, and this is the team’s fifth consecutive trip to the Elite Eight. This is the sixth meeting between the two schools, and Baylor holds a 4-1 edge in the overall series. Baylor lost the last meeting between the two teams, 88-69, in the regional final at South Bend. Baylor has an average of 78.4 points per game in the five previous meetings, and Notre Dame is at 71.2. Kim Mulkey has won two titles with Baylor and made three trips to the Final Four. The Bears have three wins over Texas and big wins over Oklahoma and Syracuse. Baylor is 33-3 overall and defeated Iowa 81-66 to reach the Elite Eight. This is the 12th straight trip for Baylor to the NCAA tournament. This game could be a very close one, as Baylor had two losses by a combined three points.

Notre Dame’s Lindsay Allen drained 28 points against Stanford in that regional semifinal, and if she has a similar game here then the Irish have a legitimate shot. Brianna Turner leads all of Division I in field-goal percentage (66.3), and the best part is she’s only a freshman. Don’t look for much perimeter offense from Turner, who didn’t take a single 3-point try this year.

Baylor’s top weapon is sophomore forward Nina Davis, at 20.9 points and 8.2 rebounds. She too has a solid inside presence, which suggests Baylor won’t take too many perimeter tries. Niya Johnson (5.3) leads the nation in assists per game.

This suggests a bruising inside game is about to take place. Since both teams are so accustomed to playing in the paint, it’s who will box out best and get the rebound that could determine this matchup. Baylor has a solid history, so do not be surprised if the top seed goes down. Still, this game is too close to call. 


Tournament Central