Sometimes the whole is better than the sum of the parts. It certainly is when Notre Dame plays UConn.
The Irish beat the Huskies for the third time this season, 61-59.
With the win, Notre Dame won its first Big East championship, fittingly in its last Big East game.
Notre Dame led most of the game but UConn asserted itself in the second half behind Stefanie Dolson who finished with a team-high 18 points and game-high 14 rebounds.
The game was tied 59-59 with 18.2 seconds remaining and UConn worked the ball around for a final shot. All-American Skylar Diggins stepped in and stole an errant Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis pass from the left corner, raced up the court through Huskies pressure, and passed it to an open Natalie Achonwa who scored with only one second remaining.
It is difficult to say that a coach has another coach's number but in this series ending game it seemed apparent. Muffet McGraw has now one 7 out of the last 8 games against UConn, a team which has not lost two consecutive games since 1993.
Diggins did not have a great shooting night, but came up big on defense.
Freshman Jewell Loyd had 16 points.
It now appears that Baylor will have the overall no. 1 seed followed by Notre Dame, UConn and Stanford. That could mean that UConn and Notre Dame would meet again in the national semis if form holds true.
Notre Dame beat UConn in the national semis last year.