Notre Dame plays against UConn in the Final Four Friday night
TAMPA, Fla. -- The Notre Dame women's basketball team will take on UConn in the Final Four Friday evening at Amalie Arena in Tampa.
The Fighting Irish are hoping to avenge the loss in South Bend back in December. But the Huskies want revenge for Arike Ogunbowale's overtime game winner.
“We have to stay grounded and stay ready. It’s a game of runs. They’re going to score. We have to respond. We’re going to score. They have to respond. Like I said, we just have to go out and play basketball," Ogunbowale said.
“Out of the past UConn teams and the past ND teams, this is one of the more competitive groups just with the personalities. So either way I feel like it’s going to be high emotion, but keeping your composure is going to be really important," senior guard Marina Mabrey said.
While there are a lot of players on the team with experience, the vets aren't the only ones who will have an impact on Friday's game.
The starting five will see almost all the action, but there are moments when freshmen or underclassmen who were hurt will have to take the floor for their first Final Four.
When they do, the team simply wants those newcomers to stay ready and to not let the moment become too big.
“Get everybody to relax and smile a little bit. I think it’ll be up to me which is kind of impossible. Just keep telling them, you’ve got to enjoy it. Keep playing hard, but you’ve got to enjoy it," Head Coach Muffet McGraw said.
“It still doesn’t feel real that we’re here. I sometimes have to pinch myself. It’s just a great feeling, and we’ve worked really hard for this opportunity. I’m excited to get started," freshman Abby Prohaska said.
Notre Dame and UConn will take the floor after the Baylor-Oregon game wraps up.