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Bear Crown: Baylor Beats Notre Dame To Win Women's Tournament, Finishes 40-0

By getting past Notre Dame in the championship game, the Baylor Lady Bears became the first team in NCAA history to finish with a 40-0 record. Brittney Griner scored 26 with 13 rebounds and five blocks.

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2012 Women's Final Four, Baylor Vs. Notre Dame: Lady Bears Defeat Fighting Irish, Finish Season At 40-0

The Baylor Lady Bears have won their second national championship following their 80-61 victory over the Notre Dame Fighting Irish on Tuesday night, finishing the season with a perfect 40-0 record (first men's or women's team to do so). Baylor won its first title in 2005.

Baylor started to pull away from Notre Dame when it went on a 14-0 run to extend the lead to 25 points, 75-50. Brittney Griner, as expected, dominated the Irish to the tune of 26 points, 13 rebounds and 5 blocks. Odyssey Sims added 19 points, seven rebounds and four assists. Baylor outrebounded Notre Dame, 45-24.

Though the final score doesn't show it, Notre Dame had the game within three points, 42-39, nearly five minutes into the second half. But poor shooting by the Irish did them in this night. Natalie Novosel's 0-for-11 night from the field is the most egregious example of the Irish's failure to sink a basket. Skylar Diggins led Notre Dame with 20 points, but she was just 7-of-17 shooting. The team shot 35.5 percent to Baylor's 50 percent.

The quest now begins anew for Griner and the Bears to win back-to-back national championships. The soon-to-be senior has stated that she will return for her final year of eligibility.

For more on women's basketball, head to Swish Appeal; For more on the two teams, head over to Baylor Bears blog Our Daily Bears and Stanford Cardinal blog Rule Of Tree.

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Women's NCAA Tournament 2012 Bracket And Schedule: Baylor, Notre Dame To Face Off Tuesday

The 2012 NCAA women's basketball championship game will be the second meeting of the season between Baylor and Notre Dame, who faced off in a November non-conference game.

Baylor defeated Notre Dame, 94-81, in the fourth game of the season in a game played in Waco.

The Fighting Irish at least gave the Bears a game, which very few teams could say this year. Their 81 points was the most any Baylor opponent scored all season, as Notre Dame's experienced back-court wasn't awed by Baylor star Brittney Griner's shot-blocking ability.

Despite going only 3-18 from the three-point line, the Fighting Irish had two players score over 25 points: Skylar Diggins and Natalie Novosel. Novosel was able to make a living at the free-throw line, where she knocked down 11 of 15.

Baylor's other All-American, PG Odyssey Sims, started the game on the bench due to an unspecified violation of team rules, but she still scored 25 points.

The game might be most remembered for the altercation Sims got into with Diggins late in the game when the two got tangled up in a nasty fall during a scramble for a loose ball, which ended up with Sims being assessed for a technical foul.


2012 Women's Final Four, UConn Vs. Notre Dame Final Score: Fighting Irish Prevail In Overtime, 83-75

Notre Dame took the lead from UConn in the second half of the two teams' 2012 Final Four clash, then lost it in the game's final minute of regulation and had to scramble to tie it. The Fighting Irish also gave up the first bucket of overtime — then, via some clutch shooting by Brittany Mallory, built an unassailable advantage and moved on to the national championship game with an 83-75 victory.

Mallory, who did not score in the second half, sank two threes and a free throw in the extra period to get Notre Dame its second consecutive berth in the national title game. The Irish will move on to Tuesday's game against either Baylor or Stanford.

For UConn, the loss was only its fifth of the 2011-12 season. But it was the Huskies' third to Notre Dame.

For more on women's basketball, head to Swish Appeal; for more on UConn, check out The UConn Blog; for more on Notre Dame, check out One Foot Down.


Women's NCAA Tournament 2012 Bracket And Schedule: Final Four Tips Off Sunday Night

The 2012 Women's NCAA Tournament has come down to the Final Four and it's nothing but No. 1 seeds. All four of the top women's teams in the nation have run through every opponent and coasted straight to Denver. Both national semifinals will be held Sunday night to determine which two teams compete in the national championship game.

The first of two games will begin at 6:30 p.m. ET and pit the Notre Dame Fighting Irish against the Connecticut Huskies. Notre Dame blew out Maryland to reach the Final Four, while UConn bested Kentucky.

On the other side of the bracket, beginning at 8:30 p.m. ET, the Baylor Bears will take on the Stanford Cardinal. Baylor upended Tennessee's Lady Vols to reach the Final Four, while Stanford easily defeated Duke.

Both games will be televised nationally on CBS.

You can click here to see the entire bracket.

For complete results and updates regarding the 2012 NCAA Women's Tournament, please stay tuned to this StoryStream.

Check out the SB Nation Channel on YouTube


Women's NCAA Bracket 2012: Baylor, Stanford Advance To Final Four

The No. 1-seeded Baylor Bears and Stanford Cardinal are through to the Final Four after recording convincing wins in their Elite Eight games on Monday night. Baylor and Stanford have looked like the country's clear top two for much of the season, and there was an obvious gap between both of them and their opponents in their regional final games.

Baylor comfortably beat the No. 2 seed Tennessee Lady Vols in the early game, 77-58. Brittney Griner scored 23 points and had a dominant defensive game with 15 rebounds and nine blocks. The Vols shot just 30 percent from the floor in the game. Odyssey Sims led all scorers with 27 points. In an unfortunate incident in the final minute, Griner and two other Baylor players were ejected for leaving the bench after a hard foul was committed on Sims, but the NCAA has said that the players will not be suspended.

In the late game, Stanford defeated Duke 81-69 on the back of 29 points and nine rebounds by Nnemkadi Ogwumike. Her sister, Chiney Ogwumike, picked up a double-double with 12 points and 17 rebounds. Duke star Shay Shelby had a very quiet night with just 11 points.

Stay tuned to this StoryStream for all your Women's NCAA Tournament news and results. Click here for a complete bracket and list of matchups.

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