Blue and Gold Illustrated

Nov. 2, 2015 Issue

Blue & Gold Illustrated: America's Foremost Authority on Notre Dame Football

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Page 95 of 111

BY LOU SOMOGYI T he white banner with blue-and- gold trim that honors Notre Dame's 2001 national champions in women's basketball remains conspicuous inside Notre Dame's Pur- cell Pavilion rafters. It stands alone among so many other blue and gold banners that include seven Final Four appearances by head coach Muffet McGraw's program, in- cluding each of the last five, plus back- to-back ACC titles in their first two years in the league to go with the 2013 Big East championship. It's a constant reminder to McGraw, her staff and players that the white ban- ner needs a complement inside the Joyce Center basketball arena for decorating purposes. Over the last five years, Notre Dame has established itself as the second-best women's basketball program in the land. Connecticut — which has won nine national titles since 2000, including the last three, and 10 overall — remains the empire that must be vanquished after ending Irish title hopes each of the past three years, the last two in the AVOIDING COMPLACENCY The Irish aim for their sixth consecutive Final Four appearance Thus far, head coach Muffet McGraw has been impressed with her team's communication and effort in practice. PHOTO BY JOE RAYMOND

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