Mar 25, 2013, 11:23 PM EDT
“Know your enemy” – Zach De La Rocha
The Irish’s offensive dominance in dispatching Tennessee-Martin Sunday evening was almost subtle.
You didn’t get the sense when watching the first half (at least) that the Skyhawks were particularly over-matched, in fact they hung with Notre Dame for the first fifteen minutes or so. Then the Irish did what the Irish do: they made some defensive adjustments, shut down the Skyhawks one hot shooter, took care of the ball, crashed the boards and made their shots, eventually scoring 97 points.
In the cold light of…well, I guess more appropriately I should say: in the gloaming of a late Monday evening…Notre Dame’s win looked an awful lot like a one seed hitting on all cylinders: slowly, predictably, and eventually inevitably grinding down an overmatched opponent.
The Irish were impressive on Sunday night because they made the process of winning by 30+ seem routine. One can assume that Coach McGraw is pleased with the mental focus of the team she’s brought all the way to Iowa City, and that’s a good thing because if the Irish are to leave the Hawkeye State Tuesday night with two wins and an invitation to the Norfolk, Virginia regional final next weekend, they’re going to have to go through the hometown favorite Iowa Hawkeyes to do it.
That’s right: our one seeded heroines will be playing a second round road game. It’s not ideal, but as junior forward Natalie Achonwa astutely observed during Monday’s press conference: the Irish have plenty of recent experience on the road in hostile environments and at least in 2012-2013 they’ve won ’em all.
The team will be ready. So too should you, esteemed Irish fan. So without further ado, here’s what you need to know about Tuesday’s game.
Watching the Game:
- Tuesday’s game will be at 8:30 pm central time, 9:30 pm eastern.
- Television: ESPN 2 will air the game. Holly Rowe and Brenda VanLengen will do the call.
- On the global series of inter-connected tubes: ESPN 3 will have the live web stream, but only for subscribers of certain cable platforms so check in advance to confirm.
- In your ears only: Our very own Bob Nagle, legendary voice of Notre Dame Women’s Basketball and master Lou Holtz impersonator can be streamed live over the internet at UND.com. The radio call is also available in the South Bend area on WHME Harvest 103.1
- Venue: Carver-Hawkeye Arena on the campus of the University of Iowa. Home of the Iowa Hawkeyes, coincidentally enough, the team Notre Dame will be playing.
Getting to know Iowa
- Mascot: Hawkeyes
- 2012-13 Record: 21-12 overall, 8-8 in the Big Ten. Iowa has played ten other ranked teams this season. The Hawkeyes are an impressive 7-3 against them. They fared slightly worse against teams that qualified for the NCAA tournament. The Hawkeyes played ten of them and finished 6-8. (I looked at that stat for a solid ten seconds before i realized that they played some of those teams more than once).
- Iowa is the nine seed in the Norfolk Region.
- Head Coach: Lisa Bluder, phonetically that’s “BLUE-dir” (thanks, media guide!). Bluder is in her 13th season at Iowa and also coached at Drake and St. Ambrose.
- The Hawkeyes have made the last six NCAA Tournaments, the only Big Ten school to accomplish this.
- They’re pretty well supported: the Iowa City regional drew almost 7,000 fans for the first night of play. Only the home crowds in Waco and College Station, Texas have outdrawn Iowa City. In other words: the Irish will be preparing to play a road game on Tuesday night.
- How they got here: Iowa upset the 8 seed Miami Hurricanes in the first round game Sunday night winning 69-53.
- The Irish and Hawkeyes have played each other exactly once. It was way back in 1996, at Iowa and Notre Dame won 50-61
- Notre Dame Connection: Yup: Iowa men’s head coach Fran McCaffery is married to Margaret (Nowlin) McCaffery who was a member of Muffet McGraw’s first ever recruiting class at Notre Dame. Margaret was the MVP of the Midwestern Collegiate Conference Tournament in 1992 when Notre Dame won it to qualify for their first ever NCAA Tournament.
Players to Watch
- Guard Samantha Logic had a double-double in the win against Miami scoring 23 points and adding 11 rebounds. Logic led the Big Ten in assists in 2012-13 and, presumably, Logic dictates…(pause)…the pace of the game for the Hawkeyes. (See what i did there?)
- Guard Jamie Printy is not someone you’d want to foul. She’s a career 89% free throw shooter and is shooting 92.3% on the season.
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