Chris Graythen

NCAA women's Final Four: UConn wins eighth national championship

After a number of upsets in the 2013 NCAA Tournament - including the fall of the top-ranked Baylor Lady Bears - the dust of March Madness finally settled and the original field of 64 came down to just the Final Four. And ultimately, a familiar face took the title. Click here for our NCAA section for full coverage on the entire tournament.

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37 Total Updates since April 10, 2013
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Three keys to UConn's rout of Louisville

The Connecticut Huskies peaked at the right time, clicking on all cylinders in a dominant victory over the Louisville Cardinals as shown clearly by the stats.

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UConn wins the title

Just the Facts, Ma'am: The first five minutes were competitive, but UConn pulled away fast and hard to cruise to their eighth title, crushing Louisville 93-60. Breanna Stewart's 23 points led five Huskies in double figures; she also had nine rebounds, three steals, and three blocks. The Huskies shot 53% from the field overall and hit half of the 26 three-pointers they took. Sara Hammond had 15 points for Louisville.

For the end of the road, badly timed congestion, dramatic debuts, and suitable finishes, join your intrepid and airborne blogger after the jump.

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UConn's eighth title: The dawn of a new era

The Connecticut Huskies roll to a big win to secure the 2013 National Championship, but it might just be the beginning of another extended run of titles. (Updated with quotes at 12:30 a.m. PST on April 10)

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Walz says he's staying at Louisville

And the saga just continues...

For more on Ohio State's coaching search, check out our storystream.

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UConn routs Louisville, wins eighth championship

As many of us expected, the Connecticut Huskies simply overwhelmed the Louisville Cardinals in a 93-60 win in the 2013 National Championship to win their eighth title.

Despite the lopsided final score, it wasn't necessarily UConn dominance from start to finish: Louisville was actually up 14-10 early in the first half before UConn laid a 38-15 run on them to close the half. And UConn gave Louisville a dose of their own medicine on their way to a big win in shooting 13-for-26 (50%) from beyond the arc.

According to ESPN, it was the largest margin of victory in a championship game.The eighth title ties that of legendary coach Pat Summitt and the Tennessee Lady Vols.

More to come later, but for now congratulations to UConn.

To discuss the game with others, check out tonight's game thread. For more on the Final Four, check out our Final Four storystream.

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Talking UConn-Louisville with Taylor Made Sports

Kevin Taylor and I had an extended chat yesterday about tonight's National Championship game between the Louisville Cardinals and Connecticut Huskies.

A few things we discussed (it's sometime during the second hour of the show):

  • Louisville even being here.
  • My prediction, which isn't dissimilar from the projection tweeted by Ed Bemiss.
  • Key players from each team.
  • My thoughts on the Brittney Griner to the NBA issue.
  • Me being excited about the upcoming WNBA season and the Golden State Warriors making a playoff push.
  • A little bit about the Atlanta Dream's chances this season with Angel McCoughtry leading the way after last season's controversy.
  • Kevin's Atlanta Dream crush (I swear this was totally unsolicited).

It was a fun conversation and I hope to get back on their prior to the WNBA season.

For far more on tonight's game, check out our Final Four storystream.

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Finding a gameplan for Louisville against UConn

When the UConn Huskies defeated the Notre Dame Fighting Irish 83-65 on Sunday night to avenge three earlier defeats, the popular sentiment appeared to be that the Huskies and Head Coach Geno Auriemma had secured national championship number eight for UConn. Brian McCormick checks in from New Orleans about what the Louisville Cardinals can do to continue defying everyone's expectations. (Updated with Monday's quotes at 2:30 am PST on April 9)

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UConn's defense stifles Notre Dame in Final Four

The cliché tells us it is difficult to defeat a team three times in one season. Notre Dame did just that against UCONN this season. The fourth proved to be elusive.

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Louisville refuses to leave the party

Just the Facts, Ma'am: Louisville came back from a 10-point halftime deficit to beat Cal 64-57. Antonita Slaughter had 18 points on 6-10 3-point shooting, while Bria Smith added 17 points and six rebounds. Layshia Clarendon led Cal with 17 points.

For bricks, pride, tiny banners, and total exhaustion, join your intrepid blogger after the jump.

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UConn heads to the title game

Just the Facts, Ma'am: UConn ended the first half on an 14-3 run to break open a close game and maintained control through the second half in their 83-65 win over Notre Dame. Breanna Stewart had 29 points, five rebounds, and four blocks for the Huskies. Kayla McBride led the Irish with 16 points, but on 5-20 shooting. Notre Dame shot 29.7% as a team.

For bricks, flurries of offensive rebounds, competitive spirit, quick exchanges, and Breanna Stewart's debutante party, join your intrepid and sore blogger after the jump. (Mama may need a chiropractor after this one.)

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UConn beats Notre Dame, 83-65

Nobody expected it to be easy for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish to win a fourth straight game over the Connecticut Huskies this season, but it's also probably safe to say that few expected the game to end with UConn getting an 83-65 win to advance to the National Championship game in the 2013 NCAA Tournament.

Looking at the keys to UConn winning this game laid out earlier today, two really ended up standing out in this game.

While Notre Dame shot 29.7% from the field, UConn freshman Breanna Stewart shot 10-for-16 from the field for a game-high 29 points to with five blocks. And although Notre Dame guard Skylar Diggins hasn't been efficient in any of the meetings against UConn this season, opposing senior Kelly Faris played outstanding defense on the star guard in holding her to 10 points on 3-for-15 shooting.

UConn now advances to play Louisville, who they beat 72-58 on January 15. But that was against a Louisville team that shot 4-for-19 from the 3-point line.

For more on the Final Four, check out our Final Four storystream.

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Louisville beats Cal 64-57 in Final Four

This time, it wasn't quite an upset.

After scoring big wins to make it to this point, the Louisville Cardinals got hot again to beat the California Golden Bears 64-57 in the first game in the Final Four.

Cal found themselves down just three points with 32 seconds left and put reserve guard Mikayla Lyles - their best 3-point shooter at 35% on the season - in the game to knot the game up, but she came up short on two attempts in the final half minute as Louisville hit the free throws to ice the game.

Louisville kept up the hot 3-point shooting once again with an above average 38.1% performance from beyond the arc, including a team-high 18 points on 6-for-10 3-point shooting from Antonita Slaughter.

For more on the Final Four, check out our Final Four storystream.

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What does UConn have to do to overcome Notre Dame?

In three previous meetings with the Notre Dame Fighting Irish this season, the Connecticut Huskies have lost by a combined 12 points. So what do they have to do to finally overcome their Big East rival in the Final Four?

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Video: Eliza Pierre will guard...everyone.

Eliza Pierre chats with Lindsay Brauner of California Golden Blogs about the Final Four, her defensive assignment against the Louisville Cardinals, and mohawks.

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WBCA All-Americans Chong, Harper, Jackson impress

Brian McCormick shares observations from the WBCA All-American Game in New Orleans.

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Jeff Walz is as much about style as substance

Louisville Cardinals coach Jeff Walz comments on Brittney Griner's chances of competing in the NBA, sideline attire, and the team's unexpected scoring burst in the Sweet 16 of the 2013 NCAA Tournament.

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Final Four preview: Louisville, meet Eliza Pierre

norcalnick of California Golden Blogs has already summarized the matchup between the California Golden Bears and the Louisville Cardinals - complete with the relevant statistics - for tomorrow's Final Four game. You should go read that, but here are a few additional thoughts on the game and why Cal might have an edge that people have ignored.

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Cal vs. Louisville: Fun teams clash in Final Four

Brian McCormick checks in from New Orleans with a preview of the California Golden Bears and Louisville Cardinals matchup in the 2013 Final Four. While the "appetizer" may lack the sizzle of the Big East battle in the second semifinal, if the press conferences and open practices are any indication, the first semifinal should be every bit as exciting.

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Native heritage draws support for Schimmels

Native American communities have rallied around the success that Jude and Shoni Schimmel have enjoyed during the Louisville Cardinals' run to the Final Four in the 2013 NCAA Tournament. For those that spoke with Swish Appeal - including Kansas Jayhawks star Angel Goodrich - the success of the sisters is about far more than basketball accomplishments.

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Don't ignore Chris Dailey's role in UConn success

Although her contributions don't always get a lot of attention, Connecticut Huskies associate head coach Chris Dailey plays a vital role in the program's success.

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Confident shooting lifts Louisville to Final Four

Once again, threes played a major part in the Louisville Cardinals upsetting the Tennessee Lady Vols to get to the Final Four. But it was the combination of a balanced attack on their part and taking the Lady Vols out of their game that won the game.

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UofL coach Jeff Walz: "We ruined the entire party"

Highlights of the Louisville Cardinals' 86-78 win over the Tennessee Lady Vols to advance to the Final Four of the 2013 NCAA Tournament.

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Louisville upsets Tennessee to make Final Four

In yet another shocking development in 2013 March(/April) Madness season, the Louisville Cardinals have upset the Tennessee Lady Vols to advance to the Final Four with an 86-78 win in the Oklahoma City regional final tonight.

Setting aside any deep analysis, the bottom line is that the Lady Vols came out flat and just never recovered despite mounting an extended comeback in the second half. In contrast, this Cardinals team is playing absolutely fearless basketball right now and has just outworked their last two opponents.

But more than anything, tonight's game should put to rest the notion that Louisville beat Baylor on a fluke, partially buoyed by playing their first two rounds at home: lightning doesn't usually strike twice.

For more on Louisville's path to the Final Four, check out our Oklahoma City region storystream.

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Diggins leads Notre Dame back to Final Four

Following what most people probably predicted, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish defeated the Duke Blue Devils 87-76 to advance to a third consecutive Final Four.

Fittingly, point guard Skylar Diggins dominated the narrative of this game: after Diggins left the game early in the first half due to foul trouble, Notre Dame went cold and fell behind by as many as 9 points. Diggins re-entered the game, found their rhythm, and ended up running away with it in the first half.

For more on Notre Dame's path to the Final Four, check out our storystream.

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How Cal survived poor shooting to make Final Four

All season long the California Golden Bears have battled to prove themselves and pull out close games on pure heart. So it's fitting that it took overtime to beat the similarly gritty Georgia Bulldogs to make a first-ever trip to the Final Four.

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Cal started from the bottom, headed to Final Four

Video for the California Golden Bears' song "Started From The Bottom" released prior to the Sweet 16, but no less relevant as they head to the program's first-ever Final Four.

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Cal advances to first-ever Final Four with OT win

The fascinating thing about California Golden Bears' season is that they've repeatedly shown the ability to adapt to the situation at hand.

Yes they stumbled against Duke, Stanford, and UCLA, but what made this such a great team to follow is that no matter how opposing teams tried to exploit their flaws as a unit, no matter how many weapons were taken away, or no matter which players simply suffering through off days, they've managed to keep winning.

Tonight's 65-62 overtime win against the Georgia Bulldogs was just the latest in a season of hard fought wins in which they had every reason to give up but stuck to their game plan, played within themselves, and somehow pulled out a win.

To celebrate with other Cal fans, check out California Golden Blogs.

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UConn routs Kentucky to advance to Final Four

The Connecticut Huskies defeated the Kentucky Wildcats 83-53 tonight to advance to a record sixth straight Final Four.

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Auriemma on the Elite Eight, Kentucky & Dolson

Connecticut Huskies coach Geno Auriemma chats about chats about returning to the Elite Eight, facing the Kentucky Wildcats, and center Stefanie Dolson's toughness in playing hurt.

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California, Pac-12 at-large

Roll on, you Golden Bear.

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Louisville, Big East at-large

What's in the cards for Louisville.

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UConn, Big East at-large

Top dogs in the Bridgeport regional.

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Notre Dame, Big East champions

Luck of the Irish? Not luck.

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