- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 5, 2011

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Sydney Colson and her Texas A&M teammates weren’t surprised that Notre Dame beat No. 1 Connecticut.

They knew what it was like to get tired of getting beat by the same team over and over again. The Aggies lost to Baylor three times before getting past the Bears in the regional final and they watched with interest as the Fighting Irish advanced to the title game by beating their Big East rival.

“We were talking about how they have played them three times before,” Colson said. “And this is their fourth time playing them, and they could possibly get an upset just like us against Baylor. And we were confident that they were going to go out there and do it, just because, you know, so much is on the line. And at some point you’ve got to go out there and get a win before it becomes embarrassing for your team.”

Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw said she liked the fact that her team wasn’t a favorite heading into the tournament. Connecticut, Tennessee, Stanford and Baylor were the top four seeds.

“I thought it was great throughout the month of March, before the brackets came out, when the first top four seeds were so obvious to everyone,” she said. “And I thought that was a good thing because we were able to fly under the radar. I don’t think that anybody was talking about us. They were talking about the top four seeds the whole time.”


CROWD SUPPORT: Notre Dame guard Skylar Diggins expected her hometown of South Bend, Ind., to come to a halt during Tuesday night’s championship game.

She said South Bend was a “ghost town” when her high school, South Bend Washington, won the state championship in 2007 at Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. She expected the same as her hometown college was set to play three hours from campus.

“Hoosier basketball, you know, you can’t even put into words how important this sport is to the state,” Diggins said.

Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw agreed that the virtual home crowd offered an advantage in Notre Dame’s win over Connecticut on Sunday.

“I know that playing in the state of Indiana has been huge,” she said.

Sue Donohoe, vice president for Division I Women’s Basketball, was pleased by the turnout for the championship game.

“For the first time since I’ve been in this position, fans were lined up all the way around the pavilion,” she said. “The excitement and enthusiasm throughout are through the Richter scale.”

Texas A&M coach Gary Blair said he expected a large crowd.

“It will be embarrassing if we don’t have a sellout with a team from Indiana in the state of Indiana,” he said.

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