Who? The Irish of Notre Dame.
Where? South Bend, Indiana. It sounds like springtime.
When? March 18th, in Notre Dame, Indiana.
How? They were an at-large selection.
Partner: Liberty, of the Big South Conference (Protestant-Catholic warfare on a Sunday for the win!)
Surprise? The only surprise is that they didn't claim the auto-bid. When your TLAs are in the single digits, you're in good shape.
Record: 30-3 (15-1 Big East)
Good wins: UConn, at UConn, Duke on a neutral court.
Bad losses: West Virginia.
Who's running this show? Muffet McGraw, since 1987. Someday, I will understand how she got the name Muffet and why she chose to keep it.
Extra, Extra! The South Bend Tribune.
Everyone will say that the star of the show is junior guard Skylar Diggins, she of the 17 points, 5.7 assists, and innumerable Twitter followers, and they aren't completely wrong. The numbers that impress me are actually 2.07 (A/TO) and 50.8% (field goal percentage). She might light the spark- but it's her teammates who are just as dangerous once the fire starts.
Excuse the tortured comparison. Hardworking guards Natalie Novosel and Kayla McBride are both dangerous options who can take a game on their shoulders- but to me, the crucial piece will be whether senior post Devereaux Peters can be the force inside she's capable of. 12.2 points and 9.4 rebounds a game, along with more than two steals that come from all over the floor, are important, but steals and blocks aren't the only reasons she was named Big East Defensive Player of the Year. If her knees and her fouls don't get the better of her, there are few posts who can contend with her.