Notre Dame, Texas A&M In NCAA Women's Final

Sunday night's upsets in the women's NCAA Final Four set up an improbable championship contest Tuesday.

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RENEE MONTAGNE, host:

This year's NCAA basketball finals feature some unlikely contenders. On the men's side, Butler and Connecticut face each other tonight. Neither was expected to be playing for the championship. We'll hear from our correspondent in Houston in a few minutes.

First, the women's finals: Notre Dame versus Texas A&M. There were big upsets at last night's semi-finals in Indianapolis.

NPR's Tom Goldman was there.

TOM GOLDMAN: If last night proved anything, it's that the term March Madness applies to the women's tournament, as well.

Mr. GARY BLAIR (Coach, Aggies Texas A&M): This is what women's basketball needs.

GOLDMAN: Gary Blair coaches the Texas A&M Aggies.

Mr. BLAIR: It needs regional final games and semi-final games and final games like this to be able to sometimes wake up America.

GOLDMAN: Blair's team was the country's alarm clock actually, more like an IV shot of Red Bull. Ten points down with six minutes left, the Aggies pulled even with Stanford - a women's program with major hoops pedigree - and then six of the most thrilling seconds in tournament history. With nine seconds left in the game, Stanford's Nneka Ogwumike, brilliant with 31 points, scored her final basket.

(Soundbite of cheering)

GOLDMAN: Whereupon Texas A&M point guard Sydney Colson took the ball, raced back down the court...

(Soundbite of cheering)

GOLDMAN: ...and passed to a cutting Tyra White, who laid it up and in: 63-62, A&M.

The nightcap lacked a breathless ending, but it was still a stunner. Notre Dame rode the brilliant play of point guard Skylar Diggins to a 72-63 win over two-time defending champion UConn. It was a sudden end to Maya Moore's brilliant career. The UConn senior forward has won titles and every imaginable award.

Ms. MAYA MOORE (Forward, University of Connecticut): It's just tough, you know, that this is the, you know, the current taste in my mouth right now. But we'll deal with it.

GOLDMAN: Her coach, Geno Auriemma, summed up the night.

Mr. GENO AURIEMMA (Coach, University of Connecticut): There's good teams. Those teams are not just named Connecticut and Stanford and Baylor.

GOLDMAN: They are named Notre Dame and Texas A&M, and they will play each other in a most improbable women's championship game tomorrow night.

Tom Goldman, NPR News, Indianapolis.

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