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NCAA Women: Notre Dame must top UConn yet again
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

New Orleans • Skylar Diggins has accomplished nearly everything she could have imagined in her career at Notre Dame. The only thing missing is a national championship.

To get another chance at that elusive title, Diggins will have to help the Fighting Irish women beat Big East rival Connecticut for an unprecedented fourth straight time this season.

"It would mean a lot," Diggins said. "I say this over and over — not only to me but to our team and our program, the city of South Bend who have been supporting me my whole life. The opportunity is here."

These two teams have had the best rivalry in the sport over the past few years, and Sunday's meeting might be the final chapter with Notre Dame heading to the Atlantic Coast Conference next season.

Two years ago, the Huskies had won the first three meetings before Notre Dame shocked them in the national semifinals. That started an unprecedented run in which the Irish have taken over the rivalry, winning seven of the last eight meetings.

This year, the two schools played three thrilling games, with Notre Dame coming out on top by one point, two points and in triple overtime.

Cal vs. Louisville

Louisville has really relished being the underdog. So coach Jeff Walz doesn't want to hear about how the Cardinals have that team-of-destiny air about them heading into the women's Final Four.

Yet, is there any other way to see Louisville after it derailed AP Player of the Year Brittney Griner and defending national champion Baylor, and then upset Tennessee — the most storied program in the sport?

Surely they couldn't be the underdogs against Final Four newcomer California (32-3) in Sunday's national semifinals. Don't tell that to Walz.

"No one expects us to win now," Walz insisted.

While destiny may be on Louisville's side, history is not. No team seeded worse than fourth has ever won a national semifinal game. —

Women's Final Four

P Louisville (28-8) vs. California (32-3), 4:30 p.m.

• Notre Dame (35-1) vs. Connecticut (33-4), 6:30 p.m.

TV • Both games on ESPN

NCAA Women • Notre Dame has 3 tough wins vs. rival.
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