THE Great Final Four

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THE Great Final Four

Postby Domer » April 3rd, 2018, 1:50 pm ... -best-ever

Buzzer-beating shots. Two (almost three) overtime games. The overall No. 1 seed losing for the first time all season. A program winning a second NCAA title 17 years after its first. A dozen or more future WNBA players taking the court. And, yes, even some officiating calls and non-calls that will keep fans debating as long as they remember this Women's Final Four.

And that should be for a long time. For everyone who wondered if all four No. 1 seeds reaching Nationwide Arena would result in a boringly predictable Women's Final Four -- it didn't. In terms of sheer drama, this weekend was the best women's college basketball has ever seen.

The 2017-18 season ended Sunday with Notre Dame's 61-58 victory over Mississippi State on Arike Ogunbowale's 3-pointer with less than 1 second left. She also hit a long, 2-point jump shot Friday to beat No. 1 overall seed UConn in the semifinals. Those two clutch baskets lifted Ogunbowale into Women's Final Four fame, along with the likes of North Carolina's Charlotte Smith and Maryland's Kristi Toliver.

"It was kind of a desperation shot, with only 3 seconds left," Notre Dame coach Muffett McGraw said. "She had a great idea of the clock going in her head. When it went through, I couldn't honestly believe that it went in."

Smith's 3-pointer in the 1994 NCAA final came with seven-tenths of a second left and lifted the Tar Heels to a 60-59 victory over Louisiana Tech. It still ranks as the greatest shot in women's NCAA tournament history. But that was a fantastic ending to an otherwise ragged game. And while one of the 1994 semifinals was close -- Louisiana Tech's three-point win over Alabama -- the other, North Carolina's 15-point victory against Purdue, wasn't.

Toliver's late 3-pointer in the 2006 NCAA final against Duke sent the game to overtime, where the Terps prevailed 78-75. That was a great championship game, but the semifinals that year -- Maryland beat North Carolina by 11, and Duke topped LSU by 19 -- weren't compelling.

In fact, this year's Final Four doesn't have much competition for "best ever" in terms of quality and closeness of all three games if you go back through the history of the women's NCAA tournament, which began in 1982.[...]
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Re: THE Great Final Four

Postby irishmark » April 4th, 2018, 1:11 pm

We R ND!!!!
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