Top stats to know: Pursuit of perfection
April, 8, 2014
By ESPN Stats & Information | ESPN.com
AP Photo, USA Today SportsOnly one team - Notre Dame or Connecticut - will be celebrating perfection after tonight.
Here are the top stats to know heading into this contest.
Battle of the Unbeatens
For the first time in NCAA Division I basketball – men or women – the championship game features two unbeatens. The winner will be the eighth women’s team to finish undefeated.
This is the fourth straight season where Connecticut and Notre Dame will meet in the Final Four. The Fighting Irish won two of the previous three meetings and have won seven of the last nine games between the schools overall.
When UConn gets there, it wins
For Connecticut, the hard part has been getting to the championship game. The school is 12-0 when playing in the basketball final, including a perfect 8-0 for the women. Connecticut is looking to wrap up the fifth undefeated season in school history. The rest of the schools in Division I have *combined* for three such seasons.
The Huskies and Geno Auriemma are looking to win the championship for the ninth time. That would snap a tie with Tennessee and Pat Summitt for the most all-time.
It’s been a little while for Notre Dame
Notre Dame is in the championship game for the third time in the last four seasons, but the Fighting Irish haven’t won a title since 2001.
If Notre Dame wins, head coach Muffet McGraw will be the sixth coach to win multiple women’s basketball championships.
Key to the Game: Catch and Shoot
Notre Dame is the best catch-and-shoot team in the nation. The Fighting Irish average 1.21 points per play and make 43 percent of their shots on catch-and-shoot. No other team is higher than 1.15 points per play or 42 percent shooting.
One streak shall survive
Connecticut has won 45 straight since losing to Notre Dame in last year's Big East championship game (the third-longest winning streak in school history), while the Fighting Irish have won 37 in a row since losing to the Huskies in last year's Final Four.
One of those streaks ends tonight.