INDIANAPOLIS, IN - APRIL 03: The Notre Dame Fighting Irish celebrate the win over the Connecticut Huskies during the semifinals of the 2011 NCAA Women's Final Four on April 3, 2011 at Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Indiana. The Notre Dame Fighting Irish defeated the Connecticut Huskies 72-63. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Women's Final Four 2011: Notre Dame Shocks UConn, Texas A&M Stuns Stanford In Upset Sunday

UConn and Stanford will be sitting at home watching the Women's National Championship on Tuesday. Notre Dame and Texas A&M pulled off monumental upsets on Sunday to clinch their spots in the title game.

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Women's Final Four 2011: Notre Dame, UConn Players React To Huge Upset

Notre Dame's 72-63 win over UConn on Sunday night was the Shock Heard Round The Women's Basketball World. It was the Huskies themselves that are left to answer the questions as to why and how this happened. Head coach Geno Auriemma took note of the many mistakes and passive play his team showcased in the second half:

Once we took Stefanie out we just didn't have much of a presence physically inside, and they took advantage of that. They drove the ball into the lane and they forced us to make -- as Kelly and Maya said, we made some mistakes defensively, and sometimes teams can't capitalize on your mistakes. But Notre Dame did tonight. The last three times we have played them, we may have made similar mistakes but they didn't make shots. So today I think we lost our aggressiveness in the second half. I think in the second half, I think it was Maya -- Maya said that -- we played tentatively. We played on our heels. We allowed the calls and what was happening to kind of affect the way we played. We lost -- we really did; we lost our attacking mentality on the defensive end. And you can't do that against Notre Dame."

Meanwhile, Notre Dame can't help but feel euphoric over their big win. Freshman Natalie Achonwa can hardly believe the support her team is getting during their run:

"Indiana is amazing. There is tremendous support for us, fans that weren't even initally supporting us, stayed after the first game and wanted us. I feel like our team and our coaching staff, we give off a vibe that brings people together. I think Indiana is an amazing basketball state and they support their basketball and athletics a lot and it's great to have a great fan base here for us."

Senior Brittany Mallory can't believe she's about to play for a National Championship.

"I get chills thinking about it. We knew this is what we wanted to do, and we knew we were going to accomplish this this year. It is an unbelievable feeling that we are going to be playing for a national championship on Tuesday night."

They'll have their chance when they play Texas A&M on Tuesday for the Women's National Title.


Women's Final Four 2011, UConn vs. Notre Dame Final Score: Irish Shock Maya Moore, Huskies In 72-63 Upset

How do you top Texas A&M’s upset of Stanford to kick off the Final Four? By having UConn, mighty UConn, lose to Notre Dame. That’s how.

Down 32-26 at the half, Notre Dame rallied behind Skylar Diggins and Natalie Novosel and held off Maya Moore’s late charge to finish off the epic upset. The Irish advance to Tuesday night’s championship against Texas A&M in search of their 2nd National Title and first in ten years.

Moore finished with 36 points, including 12 straight as she tried to rally the Huskies from a 12-point deficit. Moore missed critical free-throws late and the rally fell short. Moore’s career ends with two national titles, three POY awards and only four losses.

Notre Dame was 0-3 against the Huskies this season but found their touch at the perfect time. The Irish shot 52% on the night, compared to UConn’s 42%.

Join the celebration over at Notre Dame blog Rakes of Mallow and share in the misery over at The UConn Blog.


Women's Final Four 2011, UConn vs. Notre Dame Score: Skylar Diggins Has Irish On Verge Of Huge Upset

Don’t look now but with 7 minutes left in the second half, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish have a 55-47 lead on the mighty UConn Huskies.

Diggins has 24 points on the night and is leading the Irish charge, as they’ve outscored the Huskies 29-15 in the half so far. Brittany Mallory’s return to the game and subsequent three-pointer helped power Notre Dame’s lead even more. Natalie Novosel is 2nd on the team with 17 points so far.

Maya Moore leads the Huskies with 22 points but she only has seven points in the half so far. She’ll need to do a lot more in order to save the season for UConn. Bria Hartley has added ten for the Huskies but no other UConn player has double-digits.

The Irish have not only kept up their shooting from the first half (48%) but improved upon it and are now shooting 51% on the night.

As we get down to it, keep an eye on UConn blog The UConn Blog (duh) and Notre Dame blog Rakes of Mallow.


Women's Final Four 2011, UConn vs. Notre Dame Score: Huskies Lead Irish 32-26 At Half

It’s no surprise that the UConn Huskies are ahead at halftime of their Final Four match-up with Big East rival Notre Dame. The surprise might be that the Irish are keeping it pretty close, trailing only by six at the half, 32-26.

Notre Dame was getting great play from Brittany Mallory, who has a knack for causing UConn star Maya Moore fits. Unfortunately, Mallory went down with an injury and hasn’t returned to action. Picking up the slack is Skylar Diggins, who has 14 points. No other Irish player has more than four.

For the Huskies, who else but Maya Moore is in control. Moore has 15 points, four steals and three rebounds on the day so far. Stefanie Dolson and Bria Hartley also have seven and six points, respectively.

The Irish are shooting 48% and the Huskies are shooting 43% so far. Notre Dame is going to have to keep up that lights-out attack if they want any hope of the massive upset.

Keep an eye on UConn blog The UConn Blog (duh) and Notre Dame blog Rakes of Mallow.


Women's Final Four 2011: Stanford Players React To Texas A&M Loss

Quotes compiled by SB Nation’s Stephanie Kuzydym, on the scene at the Women’s Final Four in Indianapolis.

Texas A&M’s mounted a massive comeback in order to upset Stanford, 63-62. Cardinal Freshman Chiney Ogwumike reacts to the loss:

“It hurts, and it’s hard to put into words. I feel really bad for our seniors. We tried our best and gave it all we had but unfortunately we came up short. We have done some incredible things this year, but our main goal was to win a national championship, so it hruts. Hopefully, we will be able to use tonight as motivation for next year. Hopefully, one day we will be back, and not just reach the Final Four but win a national championship.”

Sophomore Mikaela Ruef discusses the final moments where the game slipped awa.

“They made their free throws, which was good to give them the lead and then we made ours. They came down and scored, but so did and then they did it again. We still had time to score, even with just three seconds. it was just didn’t work out. Texas A&M was really good at getting down the court fast. But none of us ever gave up. We still thought we could win. The worst part isn’t so much the loss, but that our seniors are leaving. We’ll never be able to play with our seniors again.”

Texas A&M now waits for the winner of UConn vs. Notre Dame, whom they’ll play Tuesday night.


Women's Final Four 2011: Texas A&M's Sydney Carter Reacts To Win Over Stanford

Quotes compiled by SB Nation's Stephanie Kuzydym, on the scene at the Women's Final Four in Indianapolis.

Texas A&M's thrilling 63-62 win over Stanford required a comeback for the ages. The Aggies' Sydney Carter explains how that comeback happened.

"It was hectic, you know. Everybody was saying y'all — 30 seconds for the rest of y'all's lives. This is something that we've never done. It's time to make history. Forget that you're tired and just push through it and I think it's exactly what we did."

"We're never out of a game. We're a team that doesn't give up and we've got to make sure we're doing the right thing at game time."

"I'm just ready to play again. We're going to the final game, and we just have to push through it and do it again."

The Aggies' reward for upsetting Stanford? A Tuesday night date with either the UConn juggernaut that lost only to Stanford this season or a Notre Dame team that has been relentless on defense in this NCAA Tournament.

And because it will be a matchup for a national championship, Carter and her teammates had better be ready.


Women's Final Four 2011: Texas A&M Upsets Stanford By A Score Of 63-62 In Crazy Finish

Stanford, a No. 1 seed and extremely potent offensive team came into their national semifinal match against Texas A&M as heavy favorites. If you look at the shooting percentages in the box score, it's already obvious why. A&M simply isn't that potent of an offensive team, and Stanford can score at will. However, when you turn the ball over, your shooting percentage can quickly become irrelevant. Stanford learned the hard way, and they're out of the 2011 Women's Final Four after losing to Texas A&M by a score of 63-62 in an absolutely wild finish.

Texas A&M's great defense and offensive deficiencies turned this into the kind of game that most people would classify as ugly and scrappy, and that's if they're nice and they feel like using euphemisms. However, the outstanding thing about formatting a tournament and a sport in the way that Division I college basketball is formatted allows for incredible drama, even if most of the game wasn't that well played.

Stanford appeared to be in control late, before Sydney Carter hit a three-pointer for Texas A&M with 1:34 remaining, bringing the Aggies back within one point. Sydney Colson drew a foul and made both of her free throws on the next possession, giving the Aggies a one point lead. The same thing happened on the other end, and Nnemkadi Ogwumike made two free throws to put the Cardinal ahead by one point with 35 seconds remaining. Then, things got really crazy.

In a span of 15 seconds of game time, the teams traded three layups. Tyra White gave the lead back to the Aggies with 19 seconds left and Ogwumike responded instantly, giving the lead back to Stanford, causing the Aggies to call a timeout with 12 seconds remaining. They made the most of that timeout, and White was the hero again, matching Ogwumike with a tough layup with three seconds remaining to give the Aggies the lead. Colson stole the ensuing inbounds pass, and the Texas A&M players went crazy as the final horn sounded, giving them the 63-62 upset win.

The Aggies will face the winner of the UConn-Notre Dame semifinal on Tuesday night.

For more on this game, Aggies fans should check out I Am The 12th Man and Cardinal fans should check out Rule Of Tree.


Women's Final Four 2011: Stanford Leads Texas A&M After Slow Start By A Score Of 27-23

To start their national semifinal game in the 2011 Women's Final Four, Stanford played poorly, allowing their opponents Texas A&M to get out to a lead. They were so poor in the opening part of the second half that their coach, Tara VanDerveer, exclaimed "You couldn't be playing any worse right now" during a media timeout. At that point, with the score sitting 19-12 in the favor of the Aggies, the Cardinal woke up, started shooting well and stopped turning the ball over. They ramped up their defense as well, and as a result, they lead by a score of 27-23 at halftime.

Star guard Jeanette Pohlen is struggling for the Cardinal, as she's turned the ball over five times. Stanford were brought into the game from behind by Nnemkadi Ogwumike, who has 16 points. Texas A&M have been very strong on defense, but they're lacking the offensive firepower that Stanford has. If they want to regain the lead, they'll likely have to do it by regaining their defensive form.

For more on this game, Aggies fans should check out I Am The 12th Man and Cardinal fans should check out Rule Of Tree.

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