Women's College basketball on Tuesday night and it's the final game of the year as the Connecticut Huskies and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish battle it out for the National Title at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee. The game has a start time of 8:30 pm (Eastern) and will be televised on ESPN. Vegas odds have the Lady Huskies listed as 7 point favorites, while the total sits at 142.5.
Analysis: The Lady Irish got to the Finals by beating Robert Morris, Arizona State, Oklahoma State, Baylor and Maryland. The wins now have Notre Dame at 37-0 on the year. Prior to their Final 4 game vs Maryland, the Lady Irish were dealt a severe blow when Natalie Achonwa tore her ACL and was lost for the rest of the tournament. Notre Dame didn't totally miss her vs Maryland, as Kayla McBride put the team on her shoulders with 28 points and nine rebounds. Overall 5 players scored at least 9 points in the win vs Maryland and and the Irish outrebounded the Terps by 29 in the game as well. As a team the Irish average 86.6 ppg, while they allow 61.1 ppg.
The Lady Huskies have been the number 1 team in the nation for much of the year and they now stand at 39-0. Connecticut got here by beating Prairie View A&M, St Joes, BYU, Texas A&M & Stanford. Connecticut has been led by a defense that allows just 47 ppg on the year, while scoring 82.7 ppg. The offense is led by Brenna Stewart, who averages 19.5 ppg on the year. She is followed by Bria Hartley (16.6 ppg) and Stefanie Dolson (12.4 ppg). Stefanie also leads the team in rebounding at 9.3 rpg. All five Husky starters reached double digits in scoring in their easy win over Stanford in the Final 4. A decade after the UConn men's and women's teams both won the national title in 2004, they will have a chance to repeat history this week. The men did their part last night, now it will be upto this powerful UConn women's team to do their part.
Pick: Going with the Irish here. Not sure they can win the game outright, but they should be able to keep it with the 7 points. The Irish are hurting without their leader Achonwa, but they showed vs Maryland that they play as a team and that others will step up. I feel that this Irish will fall just short of the title but won't get blown out here either. UConn by 4 or less.
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