The Baylor University women's basketball team defeated the Notre Dame Fightin' Irish to win the NCAA women's national championship last night, becoming the first basketball team in NCAA history to win 40 games in a season and only the seventh women's team ever to remain unbeaten for an entire season. The victory was a decisive one for the Bears, who shut down the Irish 80-61.
Leading the Bears' charge was the jaw-droppingly talented Brittney Griner, who scored 26 points, grabbed 13 rebounds, and blocked 5 shots. Griner, who is 6'8" and has an 86 inch armspan, became the second woman ever to dunk during an NCAA tournament game on March 20. The junior, who has pledged to return for her senior year rather than going to the WNBA, has won about as many accolades as a college basketball player can win — AP Player of the Year, outstanding player of the NCAA Final Four, First team All-American, Big 12 Player of the Year, and Big 12 Defensive Player of the year. And the Irish couldn't keep up with her.
The Irish, my beloved Irish, lost in the national title game for the second straight year. The team's star and all around classy dame Skylar Diggins has vowed to return for her senior season next year rather than joining the WNBA draft, but threepeating the finals won't come easy with Griner again leading Baylor.
Congratulations, Lady Bears, for a perfect season and a well-played title game that stomped on my blue/gold bleeding heart.
Brittney Griner's 26 and 13 lead Baylor to NCAA's first 40-win season [ESPN]