Women's Basketball

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Did Irish Bring Homecourt Advantage to Final Four?
Becca Bruszewski at Saturday's practice (AP)
 
Becca Bruszewski at Saturday's practice (AP)

April 3, 2011

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Last year, Butler's men had a virtual homecourt advantage when they played in the Final Four just a few miles from their Indianapolis campus.

This year, the Notre Dame women were in a similar situation headed into Sunday night's semifinal against Connecticut. Indy is about a three-hour drive from their South Bend, Ind., campus.

Notre Dame's Becca Bruszewski, an Indiana native, was hoping the relatively short trip would offset Connecticut's tendency to draw fans away from home.

"I think we would hope it would be a homecourt advantage," she said. "We would want as much support as possible. And when you have a lot of people out there rooting for you, it helps when another team goes on a run or you're on a run yourself."

The players had noticed a spike in support leading up to the game, and many of their friends said they would make the trip.

"It's huge," Notre Dame center Devereaux Peters said. "There's so many fans and families coming down. There are a lot of fans are down here, and the autograph session was ridiculous. It's really exciting."

Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw said the fact that the Final Four would be close to home was in the back of her players' minds all season.

"It's great for us to be in Indiana," she said. "I don't perceive it as a homecourt advantage exactly, but it definitely is easier for our fans to get here. And just playing in the state of Indiana, I think, it was kind of a motivating factor for some of the girls throughout the season."

Connecticut coach Geno Auriemma wasn't sure if the game's location would matter, and he doesn't think his team has discussed it.

"Being at home or somewhat of a home game - I don't know, my guys don't seem to be bothered by it," he said.

 

 

Event Calendar

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November 3
7:00 PM
Roberts Wesleyan
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November 11
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Central Michigan Notre Dame
Notre Dame, Ind. (Purcell Pavilion)

ACC Network Extra
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7:00 PM
WNIT Quarterfinals
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November 17
7:00 PM
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November 20
3:00 PM
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1:00 PM
TCU
Notre Dame, Ind. (Purcell Pavilion)

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November 30
9:00 PM
Iowa
Iowa City, Iowa (Carver-Hawkeye Arena)

BTN
December 4
1:00 PM
Valparaiso
Notre Dame, Ind. (Purcell Pavilion)

ACC Network Extra
December 7
7:00 PM
UConn
Notre Dame, Ind. (Purcell Pavilion)

ESPN2
December 10
8:00 PM
DePaul
Chicago, Ill. (McGrath-Phillips Arena)
December 18
2:00 PM
Toledo
Toledo, Ohio (Savage Arena)
December 20
7:00 PM
Michigan State
East Lansing, Mich. (Breslin Center)

BTN
December 27
6:30 PM
Chattanooga
Chattanooga, Tenn. (McKenzie Arena)
December 29
7:00 PM
North Carolina State
Raleigh, N.C. (Reynolds Coliseum)

ACC Network Extra
January 2
7:00 PM
Georgia Tech
Atlanta, Ga. (McCamish Pavilion)
January 5
7:00 PM
Wake Forest
Notre Dame, Ind. (Purcell Pavilion)

ACC Network Extra
January 8
3:00 PM
Miami
Coral Gables, Fla. (BankUnited Center)

ESPN Flex
January 12
7:00 PM
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Notre Dame, Ind.

ACC Network Extra
January 16
7:00 PM
Tennessee
Knoxville, Tenn. (Thompson-Boling Arena)

ESPN2
January 19
7:00 PM
Boston College
Chestnut Hill, Mass. (Conte Forum)
January 22
12:00 PM
North Carolina
Chapel Hill, N.C. (Carmichael Arena)

ESPNU
January 26
7:00 PM
Duke
Notre Dame, Ind. (Purcell Pavilion)

ACC Network Extra
January 29
12:00 PM
Virginia
Notre Dame, Ind. (Purcell Pavilion)

ESPNU
February 2
7:00 PM
Virginia Tech
Blacksburg, Va. (Cassell Coliseum)
February 6
7:00 PM
Louisville
Notre Dame, Ind. (Purcell Pavilion)

ESPN2
February 12
1:00 PM
Georgia Tech
Notre Dame, Ind. (Purcell Pavilion)

ACC Network Extra
February 16
7:00 PM
Clemson
Clemson, S.C. (Littlejohn Coliseum)
February 19
5:00 PM
Syracuse
Syracuse, N.Y. (Carrier Dome)

ESPN2
February 23
7:00 PM
Boston College
Notre Dame, Ind. (Purcell Pavilion)

ACC Network Extra
February 26
1:00 PM
Florida State
Notre Dame, Ind. (Purcell Pavilion)

ESPN2
March 17
TBA
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TBD
March 24
TBA
NCAA Regionals
TBD
March 31
TBA
NCAA Semifinals
Dallas, Texas (American Airlines Center)
April 2
TBA
NCAA Final
Dallas, Texas (American Airlines Center)

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