Texas Tech-Notre Dame Preview
March 23, 2000
GAME: No. 3 Texas Tech (27-4) vs. No. 2 Notre Dame (27-4), Mideast Regional
Coming off its most dominant performance ever in an NCAA tournament game, Notre Dame tries to reach the regional final when it faces Texas Tech on Saturday.
The second-seeded Fighting Irish routed George Washington 95-60 in the second round. The 95 points and the 35-point margin of victory were both records in NCAA play for Notre Dame, which put all five starters in double figures and shot 51.9 percent.
All-American center Ruth Riley remains the key to Notre Dame's offense, but the Irish proved they may have enough balance on offense to reach their second Final Four.
"They have a lot of weapons and some kids that probably do not get enough credit. Players like (Niele) Ivey, (Danielle) Green and (Julie) Henderson played very well for them tonight," George Washington coach Joe McKeown said. "Their role players are high school All-Americans, so don't feel sorry for them. It may be played up to be the 'Ruth Riley Show,' but they are all good players."
Notre Dame is through to the round of 16 for the third time in four years. The Irish reached the Final Four in 1997 and lost in the third round the following season.
Texas Tech also advanced to the regionals by winning a pair of games at home. The third-seeded Lady Raiders routed Tennessee Tech in the first round before posting a 76-59 victory over Tulane in the second round.
The Lady Raiders are in the round of 16 for the sixth time. They have advanced further just twice, but not since 1995.
The teams have met twice in NCAA tournament play. Texas Tech won a second-round matchup in 1996, but the Irish stunned the top-seeded Lady Raiders in Lubbock, Texas in the second round two years later.
The winner advances to play top-seeded Tennessee or fourth-seeded Virginia on Monday.
PROBABLE STARTERS: Texas Tech - F Aleah Johnson (14.6 ppg, 4.5 rpg), F Keitha Dickerson (12.1 ppg, 10.2 rpg), C Plenette Pierson (13.7 ppg, 6.8 rpg), G Melinda Schmucker-Pharies (7.6 ppg, 3.1 rpg), G Katrisa O'Neal (10.6 ppg, 3.5 rpg). Notre Dame - F Henderson (5.1 ppg, 4.5 rpg), C Riley (16.1 ppg, 7.3 rpg), G Ivey (11.3 ppg, 3.5 rpg), G Green (11.5 ppg, 4.0 rpg), G Alicia Ratay (14.4 ppg, 5.0 rpg).
HOW THEY GOT HERE: Texas Tech - At-large bid, Big 12 Conference, defeated Tennessee Tech 83-54 in first round, defeated Tulane 76-59 in second round. Notre Dame - At-large bid, Big East Conference, defeated San Diego 87-61 in first round, defeated George Washington 95-60 in second round.
ALL-TIME TOURNAMENT RECORDS: Texas Tech - 19-11, 13 years. Notre Dame - 10-6, 7 years.