2001 NCAA Women's Tourney

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We're going to the Final Four

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Posted: Wednesday March 28, 2001 9:38 AM


In 13 seasons as the head coach at Notre Dame, Muffet McGraw has led the Fighting Irish to seven NCAA tournament appearances. In 1997, Notre Dame went to its first Final Four, and in 1999-2000, recorded the best winning percentage in school history. The Fighting Irish, the No. 1 seed in the Midwest region of the NCAA tournament, advanced to the Final Four and will play Connecticut.

March 28, 2001
Notre Dame, Ind.

With 23 seconds left in the game it hit me... we're going to the Final Four. It's an incredibly emotional moment when you realize that what you have worked for all year long is finally going to happen. It's a mixture of euphoria and gratification along with a great feeling of accomplishment. I wish that time could stand still so I could be sure that I would remember everything in minute detail.

Before the game, I told my players to enjoy the moment. We have a lot of special moments in our lives. Some of them pass by in a blur but this one I wanted to be sure they remembered. We don't always get what we want out of life -- no matter how hard we work at it. I think that's why losing is so hard for most coaches to take. We teach our kids that if you work hard enough and long enough at something we can achieve what we want. But life doesn't always work out that way.

I think that I was truly blessed this year to have 12 of the most wonderful young women that you could ever hope to coach. This was the easiest year of my entire coaching career because my team was self motivated and played with passion (having the national player of the year on our team didn't hurt either!). This team had the best chemistry of any that I have ever coached, so I guess it's not a surprise that we are going to the Final Four. We are thankful for this incredible journey but we are not ready for it to end so let the band play on ... as long as it's the Notre Dame Victory March they're playing!

-- Coach McGraw

Related information
Muffet McGraw Diary Archive
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