Teams: Syracuse Orange (15-11, 8-6) vs. Notre Dame Fighting Irish (10-17, 5-10)
Day and Time: Sunday, February 23, noon ET
Location: Purcell Pavilion, South Bend, Ind.
Where to Watch: ACC Network Extra
Notre Dame Blog: One Foot Down
Current Record: 34-3, Notre Dame..
Last Meeting: An absolute thriller in the Dome earlier this season, as the Orange 74-63 in overtime. SU used a surging extra period to put away the Irish and pick up another solid win, even if Notre Dame isn’t its usual self this year.
Head Coaches: Syracuse - Quentin Hillsman (14th season, 303-155 at SU) | Notre Dame - Muffet McGraw (845-250, 32nd season at ND)
Coach Bio: Muffet McGraw is one of the most revered head coaches in all of college basketball, as her over 900 career wins and two national championships has made Notre Dame a blueblood in women’s college basketball. She has been to nine Final Fours during her time with the Fighting Irish, and has won multiple Coach of the Year awards. She played her college ball at St. Joseph’s, and was the head coach at Lehigh before taking over at Notre Dame. Since entering the Atlantic Coast Conference, Mcgraw has led her team to a first place finish in every season. She was selected to the Hall of Fame in 2017.
Last Year: Last season, Notre Dame came so close to that third National Championship, but was edged out by Baylor. They beat UConn in the semifinal game; the Huskies beat them all the way back in early December of the same year.
Last Game: Notre Dame dropped their third consecutive game the last time out to Virginia Tech by a score of 68-62 at home. The season can’t end soon enough in South Bend.
“Fear Me, I’ve Killed Hundreds of Timelords”: Last time out against the Irish, I went with Anaya Peoples to cause trouble for the Orange, but this time I’m going with a guard. Destinee Walker has been playing very good basketball for Coach McGraw, and her recent play has kept the Irish in some games. She has scored double figures in 6 consecutive games, and she has the ability to really cause issues on the defensive side of the ball. The UNC transfer is also a good three point shooter, so if anyone is going to try to shoot over that zone, it’s Walker. She attempted nine threes against the Orange the last time out.
If Syracuse Wins: Let’s keep this thing going! The hottest team in the ACC keeps picking up wins marching towards the ACC Tournament, and Syracuse looks to finally be starting to peak.
If Syracuse loses: I’m not going to say a road ACC loss is going to ruin everything in terms of an at-large, but it means Syracuse’s game against N.C. State coming up is a must-win. Let’s just win this one, please, so we can be a little less worried about adding more pressure the tough matchup with the Wolfpack?