Baylor Wins Women's NCAA Basketball Championship Over Notre Dame Baylor won the championship by a single point Sunday night, 82-81. Fans watching the men's championship Monday night between Virginia and Texas Tech are hoping for similar drama.
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Baylor Wins Women's NCAA Basketball Championship Over Notre Dame

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Baylor Wins Women's NCAA Basketball Championship Over Notre Dame

Baylor Wins Women's NCAA Basketball Championship Over Notre Dame

Baylor Wins Women's NCAA Basketball Championship Over Notre Dame

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Baylor won the championship by a single point Sunday night, 82-81. Fans watching the men's championship Monday night between Virginia and Texas Tech are hoping for similar drama.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

All right. Fans were treated to a wild finish last night in the NCAA women's college basketball final in Tampa, Fla.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Indeed. Baylor was up by 2 points, 82-80, with less than two seconds on the clock. They fouled Notre Dame and sent one of its best shooters to the free-throw line. Her name, Arike Ogunbowale. All she had to do was make her two free throws that would tie it up for the Fighting Irish and probably send the game to overtime.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

ADAM AMIN: Ugh. In and out.

(SOUNDBITE OF FANS SCREAMING)

GREENE: Yeah. That's ESPN announcer Adam Amin letting everyone know that the first shot was no good. So here's the thing. If Ogunbowale made the next free throw, that would have left her team down by one point with almost no time left in the game, and possession of the ball would go back to Baylor. Making that last shot would have doomed her team. So she looked to her coach, Muffet McGraw.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

AMIN: Muffet McGraw just mouthed to Arike, miss it.

MARTIN: Miss it, meaning her only hope was to intentionally miss the next free throw, hope one of her teammates would rebound the loose ball and score a two-pointer. Missing a free throw goes against all of her training, all of her muscle memory. Well, she tried to miss it.

GREENE: But in a split-second mistake, Ogunbowale made the free throw by accident. Baylor got the ball back, ran down the final 1.9 seconds and won the national championship by that single point.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

AMIN: Denied by Turner.

(SOUNDBITE OF FANS SCREAMING)

AMIN: And that's it.

GREENE: Heartbreaking.

MARTIN: Baylor had been ahead by double digits. When an injured left knee took star forward Lauren Cox out of the game, their lead slipped away. In a postgame interview with ESPN'S Holly Rowe, Baylor coach Kim Mulkey spoke through tears.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

KIM MULKEY: Lauren Cox. My God, she's the heart and soul of our team. And I just know she's hurt because that kid would have gotten. But you know what? God is good. He blessed these kids. They fought through it. I just know when you lose a big-time player in the middle of a national championship game, you're not supposed to win.

GREENE: All right. What a wild finish to the women's final. The men's final is tonight. And we know one thing. One team will win its first-ever NCAA crown - either Virginia or Texas Tech.

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