Coaches are changing the way they communicate with players | AP sports

Road to the Final Four: The defending champions are back in the Final Four for the second straight year and the ninth time in the program's history.

It was one year ago on that day the Fighting Irish won the national title.

"We've seen teams change their approach when they play us that they do shoot more 3s than they normally would", Mulkey said.

We already know about the perennial stars of the weekend. Young finished with a game high 25 points and collected her 12th double-double this season with 10 rebounds.

The Cardinal jumped out to an early lead, holding the Irish to 11 points through the first quarter, with Smith and junior guard DiJonai Carrington combining for all of Stanford's 13 points.

Young's scoop layup put Notre Dame on top 45-44 with just over two minutes left.

An unsung hero for the Irish off the bench for the Irish was freshman guard Abby Prohaska, who provided quality minutes (11 total) in both halves while giving the starting guard rotation some needed rest. They won their first three games by an average of 40.3 points, then turned the matchup of Cox and Brown against Gustafson into their latest mismatch. She didn't even play in last year's, and now she's gonna start and have to play a huge role in this one.

Because of her play in the Greensboro Region, Richards was awards the Most Outstanding Player of the region.

With eight second-half points, Brianna Turner finished with 14 points and five rebounds on 7-10 shooting. For the first time since 2006 they did not enter the NCAA tournament as a No. 1 seed and they have looked vulnerable at times when in past years they have rolled through the first four rounds as if it was a preseason invitational.

The rivals will meet again Friday.

Walker was instrumental in the Lady Huskies defeating Louisville in the Elite Eight.

"At this point, I don't really care it goes in or doesn't go in", Mabrey said speaking to Alex Wilcox of WNDU. "But they're a great team". "When I go into a recruit's home, they know everything about me".

He told reporters that coaches are afraid of their players, thanks in part to societal and media pressure that risks branding them as bullies.

Young scored seven points in an 11-2 run to end the third quarter that gave Notre Dame a 52-46 lead.

During a tournament in which Napheesa Collier has established her bona fides as the best player in the country, it took Samuelson returning to form to remind people just how formidable UConn can be, a fact lost on the NCAA committee when it gave the Huskies a two seed.

UConn and Notre Dame have played six times in the Final Four or national championship game since 2011. Following that game, No. 2 seed UConn matches up with No. 1 seed Notre Dame in Tampa. She's more mobile around the basket, can hit that midrange shot. The Cardinal made just 39.7 percent of their field goals and were outrebounded 48-38.

UConn-Notre Dame has become one of the best rivalries in women's basketball, but it's also known for its prickly moments between Huskies coach Geno Auriemma and Irish coach Muffet McGraw.

Getting to the national semifinals is hard.

Kiana Williams paced Stanford (31-5) with 20 points, but converted only 8 of 22 attempts from the field. Young rallied the Irish to the win, scoring 19 points in the second half.

"I thought that we kept our composure and were able to just lock in and focus for the second half".

"When she's aggressive, we're a totally different team, especially when it comes to rebounding", senior Oti Gildon stated to Maggie Vanoni of the Daily Emerald. "We just changed our mindset in the second half".

  • Julie Sanders