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    Four Down, Two To Go

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    Well, add Tuesday night's 80-49 crushing of #2 seed Maryland to the growing list of impressive victories for the 2011-12 Notre Dame women's basketball team. By this time next week, the Fighting Irish hope to add another pair of big wins, and more importantly, a national championship to their stellar resume.

    The game started out as expected - a back and forth contest between two of the best teams in women's college basketball. But midway through the first half, Notre Dame began a 14-0 run, and at that point, could have kept on running to Denver.

    The Fighting Irish led, 40-21 at the break, and did not have a second half letdown against a team that erased an 18-point deficit in the Sweet Sixteen versus Texas A&M. Not one bit.

    As they have done multiple times this season, Notre Dame flat-out dominated its opponent - and on Tuesday, it was not just any opponent. It was the 31-4, ACC Champion, expected-by-many-to-pull-off-the-upset Maryland Terrapins.

    To say Skylar Diggins had a huge game might be an understatement. The junior guard scored 22 points, dished out 11 assists, pulled down 10 rebounds and grabbed five steals to record the first triple-double of her Notre Dame career, and the first for the program since Feb. 15, 1990 (more than five months before Skylar was born).

    Natalie Achonwa had a stellar game with 18 points and seven rebounds off the bench, while Kayla McBride (16) and Natalie Novosel (14) also scored in double figures.

    The Irish dominance was not just on the scoreboard, but also in the box score. They outrebounded the bigger Terrapins team, 40-26.

    Notre Dame will join the other three #1 seeds (Baylor, Stanford and Connecticut) in the Final Four, where it will take on the Huskies for the fourth time this season, in Sunday's first semifinal. The Fighting Irish won both regular season match-ups, but fell to UConn in the BIG EAST championship game.

    Sunday's game will air on ESPN at 6:30 pm ET. Stay right here at UND.com for more coverage from Raleigh, and soon, the Rocky Mountains, as the Fighting Irish chase a national championship.

    - Josh Flynt ('11)

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