espnW: Tennessee Lady Vols
They call it March Madness for a reason. Ahead of Saturday's tipoff of the 2014 NCAA women's basketball tournament, we're flashing back to three of the biggest upsets, starting with the most recent, in first-round history.
1. Ball State 71 , Tennessee 55, 2009: Entering the game, fifth-seeded Tennessee was 42-0 in the first two rounds of the tournament. Not only that, but the Lady Vols also were the two-time defending national champions. Then along came Ball State, a No. 12 seed making its first trip to the Big Dance. The Cardinals got 23 points from Porchia Green, and the Lady Vols became the first defending champions to lose their opening game.
2. Marist 67, Ohio State 63, 2007: Marist, seeded 13th, was no stranger to the NCAA tournament, but prior to 2007, it had never stuck around for the second round. Representing the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, which was 0-21 in tournament play, Marist got 24 points from Julianne Viani and celebrated its first win in tournament history.
3. Harvard 71, Stanford 67, 1998: No team from the Ivy League had ever won a game at the NCAA women's tournament. And that was the good news. Tack on the fact that no No. 16 seed had ever knocked out a No. 1 seed -- in either the men's or women's tournament -- and the picture of what Harvard was up against becomes even clearer. And, did we mention that the game was on Stanford's home floor, where the Cardinal had a 59-game winning streak? But Allison Feaster scored 35 points and Harvard pulled off the historic upset to advance to the second round.
No. 2 Notre Dame puts its undefeated record on the line tonight against No. 12 Tennessee in Knoxville. (7 p.m. ET, ESPN2 and WatchESPN). Here are five fast facts about the rivalry.
1. The Lady Vols own a 20-3 career record over the Fighting Irish. Tennessee won the first 20 games between the schools, with Notre Dame finally defeating its orange-clad rivals to punch a ticket to the 2011 Final Four. Including that NCAA tournament victory, the Irish have won the last three meetings.
2. The teams last met on Jan. 26, 2013. Former Notre Dame star Skylar Diggins had a career-high 33 points to lead the Irish to a 77-67 victory.
3. The Lady Vols honored legendary coach Pat Summitt before the 2013 meeting by raising a banner in her honor to the rafters at Thompson-Boling Arena. Many of the Tennessee greats were in attendance, including Candace Parker, Chamique Holdsclaw and Tamika Catchings.
4. Notre Dame held Tennessee to its lowest scoring game in school history on Jan. 23, 2012, beating the Lady Vols 72-44 in South Bend, Ind.
5. There's more to come. Notre Dame and Tennessee are scheduled to play the next two seasons at Purcell Pavilion before returning to Knoxville to complete the four-year contract in 2016-17.