Apr 9, 2014, 9:16 AM EDT
Gary Paczesny is a member of the Notre Dame women’s basketball travel party that will be writing a daily blog about traveling to the Women’s Final Four in Nashville, Tenn.
The day of the NCAA Championship game for the Irish was just like the 37 games before. The Irish ate breakfast at the hotel and watched film on UConn before departing for Bridgestone Arena for a late morning shoot-around.
Many members of the Notre Dame travel party, along with fans could be seen taking walks, going on runs and enjoying the 60 degree temperatures in the Music City.
The team departed the hotel is style, with the Band of the Fighting Irish playing music for fans gathers to salute the team as they boarded the bus.
The Nashville Metro Police have been great this week. They have provided escorts to ease our travel throughout the city. While we don’t get to run red lights, they have made our trip to the Arena much easier. And today was not exception, as they went out of their way to get us safe and sound to Bridgestone Arena is less than 10 minutes.
The Irish arrived at the arena, and quickly after so; ESPN and sideline reporter Holly Rowe interviewed senior guard Kayla McBride and head coach Muffet McGraw, while a camera entered the locker room to shoot “laces and faces” and show how the players get ready prior to tip off.
The Irish occupied the same locker room as they did on Sunday night (when they defeated Maryland in the National Semifinal). That makes the hallway a bit tight with UConn situated directly across the hall, but the staff here at Bridgestone Arena has been great to help us with all the needs of being 431 miles from Purcell Pavilion.
For the first time in the 2014 NCAA Championship, the Fighting Irish were designated as the away team, wearing their navy postseason adidas jerseys for the first time.
While the game did not go how the Fighting Irish had envisioned it; this team and especially this senior class went on to play in three of the last four national championship game, going to four Final Fours and totaling 138 wins against just 15 losses in their stay on campus.
This team was never expected to get this far, but they proved doubters wrong and made it all the way to the NCAA Championship game. While losing is hard, it’s the memories that have been built by this team that will last forever.
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