CHICAGO – If today's meeting between Notre Dame and Texas A&M feels a little familiar, it's not just you.
The setting is different – Chicago's Wintrust Arena, this time, instead of Spokane – but the Irish and the Aggies are facing off in the Sweet 16, just as they did last year on Notre Dame's run to their second title in school history.
Last time around, Chennedy Carter did damage for the Aggies, scoring 31 points on 10-of-25 shooting in Notre Dame's 90-84 victory. The sophomore has been just as dangerous this post-season, and she's averaging 30.2 points per game in her collegiate career.
Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw has described the SEC's leading scorer as "unstoppable," and yesterday said her team had not come up with a way to contain Carter as a scoring threat. That leaves one other option: out-pacing her and and her Aggie teammates, as the Irish did in last season's barn-burner.
That possibility remains on the table, as Arike Ogunbowale scored 23 points in 31 minutes and Jackie Young scored 21 points in 29 minutes during Notre Dame's second-round win over Michigan State on Monday.
Marina Mabrey, who hyper-extended her knee on March 18, is the real X-factor for the Irish. She combined for just two points in Notre Dame's first two games of the NCAA Tournament, but said she is feeling much better after another week of recupperation.