Notre Dame Basketball: Five Keys to Beating Connecticut for the Title

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Apr 5, 2015; Tampa, FL, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish forward Brianna Turner (11) and forward Taya Reimer (12) celebrate after defeating the South Carolina Gamecocks 66-65 in a 2015 NCAA Women

Notre Dame battles favorite Connecticut for title

This Notre Dame team may not have been the most likely to be here on this stage again. But it seems every year that the Irish roster loses pieces, and is supposed to experience a “drop off”–it simply never comes. For the fifth straight year, Notre Dame made it to the Final Four, and will play for the title for the fourth time in that stretch. Twice they’ve lost to a team that finished with a perfect season (Baylor in 2012, Connecticut last year).

But the Irish expect no sympathy. They appreciate these moments, and Jewell Loyd may have put it best. “If you really think about it, how many other teams wish they could be in our shoes?” Loyd said. “You can’t take anything for granted when you’re here; you understand there’s a lot on the line. But we’re still going to enjoy the moment.

It would be easy for the Irish to look at this as simply “another shot”. But not every player will get here again, even if their recent history says otherwise. So they won’t listen to the talk that “Connecticut is too good”, and that “the Irish can’t keep Geno from No. 10.” They aren’t here expecting a next time. This is the time.

So what will they need to do to pull the upset? Let’s look at a few of the keys for Muffet McGraw and her Fighting Irish.

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