|Baylor [#1/1 (39-0)] vs. Notre Dame [#4/4 (35-3)]
Tuesday, April 3, 2012 | 7:30 p.m. CT
Denver, Colo. | Pepsi Center (19,028)
FULL FINAL FOUR INFORMATION
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The top-ranked Baylor Lady Bears, NCAA Division I's lone undefeated team with a school-record 39-0 mark, are the NCAA Championships' overall No. 1 seed and seek to become the NCAA's first-ever 40-0 team.
After downing UC Santa Barbara (81-40) in the first round, the Florida Gators in the second round (76-57), 15th-ranked Georgia Tech (83-68) in the Sweet 16, ninth-ranked Tennessee (77-58) in the Elite Eight and second-ranked Stanford (59-47) in the semifinals, Baylor is making its second appearance in the title game.
Baylor is led by a trio of double-digit scorers on the season. Junior post Brittney Griner, AP and USBWA National Player of the Year, unanimous AP All-American, WBCA All-American and 2012 U.S. Olympic Team finalist, leads the Big 12 with 23.2 points per game while sophomore guard Odyssey Sims, an AP and WBCA All-American, manages 14.7 a contest, and junior forward/post Destiny Williams scores 10.1 an outing. Junior guard Kimetria Hayden adds 9.1 a game. Griner, Williams and junior forward/post Brooklyn Pope are the team's top rebounders with Griner averaging 9.4 a game, Williams 9.2 a game and Pope manages 5.4 per game. Sims is also averaging 4.4 assists and 3.0 steals per contest while Griner manages a nation's best 5.2 blocks per game.
Tuesday's matchup between top-ranked Baylor and No. 4 Notre Dame marks the second time this season the two teams have faced each other with a championship on the line. The Lady Bears posted a 94-81 homecourt victory over the Irish in Waco in the Preseason WNIT championship game, Nov. 20. BU's Griner tallied 32 points and 14 rebounds en route to leading her team to victory, Sims added 25 points, six assists and six steals and Williams also recorded a doubledouble with 15 points and 13 boards. Notre Dame's Natalie Novosel led the Irish with 28 points while Skylar Diggins added 27 and Kayla McBride scored 11 points.
For the first time since 1989 (Maryland, Auburn, Louisiana Tech, Tennessee) and just second time in NCAA women's basketball history, all four No. 1 seeds have advanced to the Final Four. Kim Mulkey was an assistant on the 1989 Louisiana Tech staff.
Baylor is making its second Final Four in the past three seasons, and its third overall (2005, `10, `12) and its second title game appearance (2005 & `12).
Kim Mulkey is participating in her eighth NCAA Championship title game; two as a player (1982 & `83), four as an assistant coach/associate head coach (1987, `88, `94, `98) and two as a head coach (2005 & `12).
Baylor's 2011-12 roster features four McDonald's All-Americans. Juniors Brittney Griner and Destiny Williams were honored in 2009, while junior Brooklyn Pope was a 2008 selection and sophomore Odyssey Sims was a 2010 recipient.
Baylor's senior class of Terran Condrey, Ashley Field and Lindsay Palmer are 130-19 (.872) in four seasons with five Big 12 titles, four NCAA Tournament trips and a pair of Final Fours to their resume.
For the second time in her four-year career, guard Lindsay Palmer was named an NCAA Elite 89 scholar. She was also 2010 women's basketball recipient. She carries a 3.985 grade point average.
Baylor is 12-0 vs. Top 25 teams this season, including 5-0 vs. Top 10 opponents. Baylor's scoring margin vs. ranked opponents is +16.8, while its rebounding margin is +7.6.
Brittney Griner's 903 in 2011-12 is the most by a BU player in the NCAA era and is No. 3 all-time. She needs seven points to break Andrea Riley's (OSU) Big 12 single-season scoring record of 909 which she set in 2010.
Odyssey Sims is averaging 19.7 points per game vs. BU's 12 ranked opponents and 14.7 on the season.
Baylor broke its own NCAA season blocks record of 277 set in 2010, as the Lady Bears have registered 304 blocks this season; led by Brittney Griner's 201, Sune Agbuke's 27, Jordan Madden's 24, Destiny Williams' 20 and Brooklyn Pope's 18.
Baylor has already set five Big 12 Conference single-season records and is on pace to break four more. Records set - rebounds, 1,764 (breaking own record set last season, 1,646); assists, 707 (OU, 677 in 2001); blocks, 304 (BU 277 in 2010); victories, 39 (34 in 2011) and points 3,056 (Texas A&M 2,949 in 2011).
Baylor has established school record for most points in a season in NCAA competition. BU currently has 3.056 points, it scored 2,922 in 2010-11.
Baylor has outscored its 39 opponents by 26.5 points per game on the season and by 23.9 points a game in Big 12 action.
CAN THEY MAINTAIN PERFECTION?
If Baylor is able to remain perfect this season, it will become the first basketball team, male or female, in NCAA history to produce a 40-0 record. The Lady Bears will have to win one more game in the 2012 NCAA Championship to achieve the feat.
The 14 undefeated NCAA champions include: 2010 UConn women (39-0), 2009 UConn women (39-0), 2002 UConn women (39-0), 1998 Tennessee women (39-0), 1995 UConn women (35-0), 1986 Texas women (34-0), 1981 Louisiana Tech women (34-0), 1976 Indiana men (32-0), 1973 UCLA men (30-0), 1972 UCLA men (30-0), 1967 UCLA men (30-0), 1964 UCLA men (30-0),1957 North Carolina men (32-0), 1956 San Francisco men (29-0),
BAYLOR'S 39 WINS
Baylor is the third women's team in the NCAA era to reach the 39-win mark in a single-season, a feat accomplished five times by:
39--Tennessee, 1998; Connecticut, 2002, 2009, 2010; Baylor, 2012
Baylor's 39-0 start to the season matches the third-best start since 1982; equaling Tennessee's 39-0 mark in 1998 and UConn's 39-0 in 2002, 2009 and 2010.
MULKEY IN NCAA FINAL FOUR
Baylor head coach Kim Mulkey is participating in her 13th NCAA Women's Final Four. She made three trips as a player (1982, `83, `84), five as an assistant coach (`87, `88, `89, `90, `94) and two as an associate head coach (`98, `99) at Louisiana Tech and three as Baylor's head coach (2005, `10, `12). She has three NCAA titles to her credit (1982, `88, 2005). In addition, she won an AIAW national championship as a player in 1981.
Mulkey is participating in her eighth NCAA Championship title game. Two as a player (1982 & `83), four as an assistant coach/associate head coach (1987, `88, `94, `98) and two as a head coach (2005 & `12).
Mulkey has three NCAA crowns on her resume; 1982, `88, `05. and is the only individual to win a national crown as a head
coach, assistant coach and player.