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Muffet McGraw says celebrating first national title with fans is one of the her best memories at Notre Dame

Published: Apr. 1, 2021 at 11:31 PM EDT
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - Twenty years ago tonight, Irish fans were flocking to the main circle to welcome home the Women’s Basketball team after they made history in St. Louis.

The Irish won the program’s first ever national title, twenty years ago today, defeating Purdue 68-66.

Afterwards, the Irish celebrated in their hotel with friends and family before heading back to South Bend.

The team didn’t get back to campus until after midnight, but that didn’t matter.

The support they received from fans still is one of the best memories of head coach Muffet McGraw’s career at Notre Dame.

“I still feel that way 20 years later,” McGraw said. “Certainly winning the second one was a lot of fun and as exciting as the first one was. But you know the first one is just special. When we were surrounded by so many fans and supporters on campus at that time of night when you just didn’t expect it. It was really surreal. Watching the Notre Dame, the number one sign light up on Grace Hall for the first time, knowing it was for us. So many special moments.”

“I know Coach McGraw always talks about that was one of the most special moments of her career,” 2001 team member and now Notre Dame Women’s Basketball coach Niele Ivey said. “We kind of got the chance to talk to the crowd, had the trophy, but just coming back to campus, being able to share that moment with the Notre Dame community and the South Bend community was really special.”

Also three years ago tonight. it was Arike Ogunbowale making history for the Irish as Notre Dame won their second national title.

Safe to say April 1 is very kind to the Blue and Gold.

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