Everything You Need To Know About Liberty

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On Monday night, the Notre Dame women's basketball team learned that it had earned the #1 seed in the Raleigh region of this year's NCAA tournament. Purcell Pavilion is a host site this year, meaning the Irish will not have to leave the friendly confines of their home arena until hopefully advancing to the Sweet Sixteen.

For Sunday's first round contest, the Irish will take on #16 seed Liberty University. With a win, head coach Muffet McGraw's squad would advance to take on the winner of #8 seed California and #9 seed Iowa. The Golden Bears and the Hawkeyes will tipoff at 12:10 pm ET, before Notre Dame and Liberty take the floor at approximately 2:40 pm ET. Both games will air on ESPN2 with the broadcast team of Dave O'Brien and Doris Burke.

As the Irish begin a run that hopefully ends with a national championship celebration in Denver, here's a look at their opponent for Sunday's matchup:

  • Record: 24-8 (automatic bid)
  • Coach: Carey Green (13th season)
  • Best wins: vs. Winthrop (74-49), at High Point (73-65)
  • Home arena: Vines Convocation Center (capacity: 8,085)
  • Best players: Avery Warley, RS-Sr., C (13.1 PPG, 11.6 RPG), Devon Brown, RS-Jr., G/F (16.9 PPG, 7.1 RPG)
  • NCAA history: fourth appearance in past five seasons, 14th in program history
  • Deepest tournament run: Sweet Sixteen (2005)

And a few facts about the university:

  • Location: Lynchburg, Virginia
  • Founded: 1971
  • Conference: Big South
  • Enrollment: 12,500 residential, 61,000+ online
  • Academics: 220 residential and online undergraduate programs, 87 residential and online graduate areas of study, 6 total online doctoral programs, Liberty University School of Law, Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary
  • Religious Affiliation: Christian (Southern Baptist)
  • Mascot: Flames
  • Colors: Navy, white and red

Liberty has won 18 of its past 19 games, finishing conference play with a 16-2 record. On Sunday, the Flames earned their 14th NCAA tournament trip in the last 16 years, by downing High Point, 81-73 in the Big South title game.

Sunday will be the third meeting between Notre Dame and Liberty, with the Irish leading the series, 2-0. The teams last met on Dec. 5, 1999 at the Wachovia Women's Basketball lnvitational in Richmond, Va., a game Coach McGraw's team won, 85-68.

Also worth noting - Kelley Siemon ('01), a starter on Notre Dame's 2001 national championship team and a 1,000-point scorer during her Fighting Irish career, was an assistant coach at Liberty from 2003-07.

- Josh Flynt ('11)

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