By Mick Holien
The magic presence of 98-year-old Sister Jean was not enough to carry Loyola-Chicago to the championship game losing to Montana’s first round opponent Michigan but on Easter Sunday maybe there was a touch of her Catholic magic as for the second straight game a miracle shot carried the Notre Dame women to victory.
And it was nothing short of a miracle when Arike Ogunbowale (Aree K Ogun Bow ale) threw in a rainbow trey from deep in the right corner with three seconds remaining to secure the National title for the Fighting Irish for the first time in 17 years and send the San Antonio arena and South Bend Indiana into a frenzy.
Her winning shot for the second time in three nights overshadowed a bit her Friday night shot that Notre Dame into the championship game where the women from South Bend used all but a tenth of a second to defeat only once beaten Mississippi State.
The title game screamed for overtime as any objective fan didn’t want it to end and a midcourt melee with time running out when the Bulldogs stole the ball only to have it stolen back with just a foul preventing a winning Notre Dame layup.
But the non-shooting foul handed Notre Dame a late chance for a miracle that fell to fruition.
You probably know I called Lady Griz basketball for eight years in the eighties and I can tell you the game has vastly improved especially offensively where the women shoot from distance with seemingly no conscience much like their male counterparts.
And congratulations to ESPN’s Adam Amin who called a pair of semi-final overtimes and the chipper to perfection especially when after the outcome was determined he let the scene speak for itself and didn’t talk over the spontaneous celebration.
An announcers first instinct is to spew out our words sprinkled heavily with the emotion of your last second thoughts but the sheer joy of such moments trumps the urge to talk and doing so in IMO spoils the moment for all concerned.
Let the moment speak for itself.
I also am not a fan of taped interviews playing while the game is continuing. There’s plenty of time during half time or time outs to run those predictable snipits.
It is also unfortunate that such an outstanding game was contested late on Easter Sunday afternoon.
Tonight’s men’s chipper has to be a dousy to measure up.