TAMPA BAY (WNDU) - Tomorrow night when the Irish take the floor here at Amalie Arena, it will be the final time this historic Notre Dame senior class suits up in the blue and gold. The Irish say there's not a better way to go out then on the grandest stage playing for the national championship.
“It doesn’t really get much better than that," Irish forward Jessica Shepard said. "To play for a University like Notre Dame to get to play for a Hall of Famer, it’s definitely special.”
“To play here the last four years under Coach McGraw it’s been an honor and a blessing," Irish guard Marina Mabrey said. "I feel like I’ve learned so many things. I’ve grown as a player on and off the court so I think Notre Dame for having me and giving me all of the resources to take advantage of. It’s second to none and I’ll miss it but I’m also excited for the next chapter of my life too.”
“It’s really exciting especially with this group," Irish forward Brianna Turner said. "Obviously just watching and wanting to be back on this stage, to be back here a year later, I couldn’t ask for anything more.”
“This is special," Irish guard Arike Ogunbowale said. "It’s a special program. A lot of great players have come to this school. [To play for a] Hall of Fame coach, Hall of Fame coaching staff, it’s been an amazing four years. It’s going to be sad but hopefully we go out with a win. That would be amazing.”
“Well, I want them to go out winners and I think they do too," Irish head coach Muffet McGraw said. "I think they want to win for each other and I want them to too.”
Now if this senior class is able to end their careers with another National Championship, Notre Dame will join UConn, Tennessee and USC as one of four schools to ever win back to back national titles in Women's college basketball. But standing in the way of the Irish, and history, are the Baylor Bears. Tip between Notre Dame and Baylor is tomorrow night at 6 PM on ESPN.