The Baylor Lady Bears started the night the same way they finished it - dancing.
Have you ever seen Footloose? Yes, the movie.
Based on true stories from a little town in Oklahoma called Elmore City. In 1980 the Elmore Citians decided dancing wasn't all so bad after all. But the Waco, Texans who were running the very conservative Baptist school of Baylor University didn't decide to 'get with the times' until 1996. 151 years after the school was founded. 151. And now some 16 years later, the Bears just might be dancing in the streets after Baylor picked up its second women's basketball national title in the 2000s.
"Well, you know at Baylor, they used to not let the Baptists dance," Baylor Lady Bears coach Kim Mulkey said after the win. "I bet they're dancing now!"
And while the fans of the Bears might be dancing, it took some fancy footwork on the court of the Pepsi Center to get to the title. On Tuesday, the test came in the form of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, but the Bears more than aced their exam.
Brittney Griner sashayed into the lane and up to the basket to put in 26 points on 11-of-16 shooting. She jeted for 13 rebounds and leapt high in the air to reject five Notre Dame shots. Odyssey Sims pirouetted around traffic to add 19 points and combine with Nae Nae Hayden and Jordan Madden for 14 assists. Destiny Williams and Brooklyn Pope combined for 20 and 10 and Sunday's unlikely heroin Terran Condrey waltzed her way to six points and five rebounds. Mulkey even slid in Mackenzie Robertson, Sune Agbuke, Ashley Field and Lindsay Palmer to strut their stuff in the waning bars of the music.
And after the game was over, the entire team broke it down hip-hop style, jiving on center court, cutting down nets and shaking a tail feather with the confetti all around.
And when the victory jig was complete, the Baylor Lady Bears had danced circles around their partner on the night, Notre Dame, sending them back to South Bend after a twirl around the hardwood to pick up not only the national championship, but the best record in all of college basketball. The Bears are 40 and 0 and ready to take another spin around the Big Dance competition in 2013.
"I want to be in New Orleans. That's my home state," Mulkey said of next year's Final Four locale. "And I won't have enough tickets for family, but I'll do something to get them in the arena. But that's what we want, another national championship."
With the bulk of the champion Bears headed back to Waco and ready for a repeat, it looks like the nation better lace up their dancing shoes and hold on tight before Baylor jitterbugs all the way to the Big Easy to fetch themselves another trophy.