Notre Dame Women's Basketball 2013 NCAA Tournament Capsule

Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Big East (31-1, 16-0)


If there was any doubt heading into the 2012-2013 campaign that Notre Dame was not one of the elite teams in college basketball, Coach Muffet McGraw and company put an end to it pretty quickly. The Fighting Irish have played a tough, tough schedule and have come away with some huge wins. Notre Dame’s lone loss came against Baylor in December and they will be hoping for a rematch in the Final Four.

Big Wins: 1/5 at Connecticut (73-72), 1/28 at Tennessee (77-67), 3/4 Connecticut (96-87)
Bad Losses: 12/5 Baylor (61-73)
Coach: Muffet McGraw

Why They Can Surprise:
Notre Dame is built around double-digit scorers Skylar Diggins, Kayla McBride, Jewell Loyd and Natalie Achonwa. When the game is on the line, those four will be on the floor. Diggins is one of the best players in the nation and her 17.0 points, 5.9 assists, 3.6 rebounds and 3.1 steals prove it. When the Irish need a big bucket, they will look to Diggins. McBride is another high scoring guard who can attack the basket with ease. Loyd does not take too many shots from beyond the arc, but she is pretty consistent when she does. Achonwa is the post presence. Her offensive prowess is strong enough on its own, but she also creates plenty of space for her teammates by forcing the opposition to collapse in the paint. Achonwa, along with fellow forwards Ariel Braker and Markisha Wright, have helped the Irish become one of the strongest teams in the nation on the glass.

Why They Can Disappoint:
Notre Dame is not a bad outside shooting team, but they just have not taken that many outside shots. Diggins, Loyd and Madison Cable have the potential to knock down the long ball, but when it comes down to it, they have not had to make many clutch three-pointers this season. This is not a team that is used to being behind and needing to score in a hurry. In Notre Dame’s loss to Baylor, the Irish made just four of their 15 attempts from beyond the arc. And all four were made by Loyd. If only one player is knocking down shots, the Irish could find themselves on the losing end to a team like Baylor again.

Probable Starters:
Skylar Diggins, Senior, Guard, 17.0 ppg, 5.9 apg, 3.1 spg
Kayla McBride, Junior, Guard, 15.4 ppg, 2.2 apg, 4.5 rpg
Jewell Loyd, Freshman, Guard, 11.8 ppg, 2.2 apg, 5.2 rpg
Ariel Braker, Junior, Forward, 5.3 ppg, 4.9 rpg
Natalie Achonwa, Junior, Forward, 13.8 ppg, 9.3 rpg

Key Roleplayers:
Madison Cable, Sophomore, Guard, 4.2 ppg, 3.3 rpg
Whitney Holloway, Sophomore, Guard, 3.2 ppg, 1.2 apg
Michaela Mabrey, Freshman, Guard, 3.6 ppg, 1.4 apg
Kaila Turner, Senior, Guard, 4.2 ppg, 1.6 apg
Markisha Wright, Sophomore, Forward, 4.5 ppg, 4.5 rpg

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 81.7 (2nd in nation, 2nd in conference)
Scoring Defense: 57.4 (84, 7)
Field-Goal Percentage: 46.1 (5, 2)
Field-Goal Defense: 36.7 (69, 6)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 4.1 (240, 11)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 33.1 (59, 3)
Free-Throw Percentage: 79.5 (3, 1)
Rebound Margin: 11.6 (4, 1)
Assists Per Game: 19.6 (3, 2)
Turnovers Per Game: 16.0 (102, 5)

Recent Postseason Appearances:
2012    NCAA    Round of 64 win over Liberty
2012    NCAA    Round of 32 win over California
2012    NCAA    Regional Semifinal win over St. Bonaventure
2012    NCAA    Regional Final win over Maryland
2012    NCAA    National Semifinal win over Connecticut
2012    NCAA    National Championship loss to Baylor
2011    NCAA    Round of 64 win over Utah
2011    NCAA    Round of 32 win over Temple
2011    NCAA    Regional Semifinal win over Oklahoma
2011    NCAA    Regional Final win over Tennessee
2011    NCAA    National Semifinal win over Connecticut
2011    NCAA    National Final loss to Texas A&M
2010    NCAA    Round of 64 win over Cleveland State
2010    NCAA    Round of 32 win over Vermont
2010    NCAA    Regional Semifinal loss to Oklahoma
2009    NCAA    Round of 64 loss to Minnesota
2008    NCAA    Round of 64 win over Southern Methodist
2008    NCAA    Round of 32 win over Oklahoma
2008    NCAA    Regional Semifinal loss to Tennessee

*all team stats through 3/7


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