Sunday, February 26, 2023

Cinderella Notre Dame Ladies Pull Miracle in OT Win Over Stanford and Elite 8

In the day the real Notre Dame Ladies overcame an injury to claim a share of another ACC title, their 2018 squad pulled off the first true miracle in our all-time great Ladies tournament ... 

Trailing Stanford 74-69 Notre Dame with 40 seconds to play, Notre Dame put all 3-point shooters in the floor in desperation. The normal line-ups is the top row of players in the Value Add Basketball Game, but we wrote the end of game positions from 1 to 5 with big circles on the team sheet below, along with each players stats. 

We also chose the strategy of trying for a 3-pointer. When this is done, each players 3-point made range is increased by 1 for every 1 2-point made at the top of the range that can be turned into a 2-pt missed and rebound automatically goes to the defense. However no player can more than double their 3-pt range. You do not need to use Advanced rules to play the game, but it does allow strategies like this.

In English, the Notre Dame made shot ranges on the cards below changed to:

8-sided            Name                   3-pt made   2-pt-made     2-pt now missed, def reb
3, 6 & 7Ogunbowale1-6None7-9
8Poss TO  

For the top square of the 1 possession (0:16 seconds) box the 8-sided die was a "5", so the ball went to Jackie Young, and the 20-sided die was a 6, which is a 2-pointer made. Note the 3-pointer range can only be doubled, so Young's 3-point range could only be increased from 1-2 to 1-4 since the Irish did not have a 5th player with a higher 3-point range. The 20-sided die was a "6," which meant Young made a 2-pointer, still leaving Notre Dame behind 74-71. 

Only a steal or foul results in the spot under the diagonal slash being used as a last possession, thus requiring Notre Dame to use the advanced strategy of going for a turnover or fouling to prolong the game. When going for the steal or foul the 20-sided shot dice is not used, and if the result of the other three is a steal or turnover that result stands with the extra possession created. Any other result is a foul and two shots. The 8-sided die was a "5" sending the ball to Haley Jones, meaning only a 11-16 could be a steal by Jackie Young, or a 41-42 as a turnover on Jones offensive card. It just missed that range as a 43, sending Young to the foul line needing 1 of 2 shots to seal the win.

Jones free throw range was 1-14, a decent 70%, but the 20-sided die came up "20" and then "16" to give Notre Dame one desperation trip down the court needing a 3-pointer to force overtime.

Instead, Arike Ogunbowaie was fouled for two shots. The normal starting five were put back on the court for Notre Dame since at this point the only hope was to make the first free throw, miss the second and then have the two best possible offensive rebounders in the game. In actual basketball the home team grabs an offensive rebound about 33% of the time on a regular shot, but only 17% on a missed free throw - so in the game a missed free throw resulting in an offensive rebound by the Point Guard, Shooting Guard or Small Forward goes to the defense instead. Only the Power Forward (in this case Jackie Young, with a good 1-6 offensive rebound) or Center (in this case Jessica Shepard, with an even better 1-8 offensive rebound).

With the first free throw cutting it to 74-72, the rebound chart was a "10" on the 20-sided die, and a 10 or 20 goes to the highest rebounding range on the entire court (ties go to offense). In this case, Shepard's 1-8 Offensive Rebound topped Haley Jones Defensive Rebound of 1-7, so Jones had the rebound, and on the roll of the four dice scored herself for an unbelievable 74-74 tie and the first overtime came in our women's tournament.

We wrote the stats by each players name on the Notre Dame team sheet above, and the Stanford sheet below, which is followed by the scoresheet which includes the running score through the 5-minute overtime off to the right.

Ogunbowaie's 28-point, 6-rebound, 3-steal, 3-blocked shots game included a 12-6 personal run that cut Stanford's lead from 51-43 to 57-55. 

The overtime went back-and-forth, with Ogunbowaie hitting the final bucket to make it 87-84, and then Stanford also putting in their 3-point shooters as indicated below. 

The Irish will try to continue their Cinderella run next against the #1 all-time seed, 2016 UConn in the Elite 8.

The last Elite 8 spot will be filled by the winner of South Carolina 2017 vs. Cheryl Miller's 1983 team - a USC vs. USC battle. 

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