More than 8,600 fans will pour into the Purcell Pavilion Saturday, March 29, to watch the regional round of the NCAA women's basketball tournament.
Most of them will be wearing a distinctive lime green.
Top-seeded Notre Dame (34-0) hosts fifth-seeded Oklahoma State (25-8) at the Purcell Pavilion at 2:30 p.m. Saturday. The game will be aired on ESPN or tune in to 96.9 FM.
While Notre Dame consistently ranks in the top five in women's college basketball attendance, the Cowgirls have already played spoiler once this tournament. Oklahoma State dispatched fourth-seeded Purdue in West Lafayette in the second round.
Notre Dame enters its fifth Sweet 16 in five years. Here's what to watch for Saturday afternoon:
- No bad blood or revenge storylines in play here. Saturday marks the first time Notre Dame and Oklahoma State meet in basketball. Notre Dame is 42-3 against first-time opponents since 2000.
- Those with sharp eyes may notice the green nail polish Notre Dame will be sporting. The Irish have painted their nails green for every NCAA tournament since 1997. Male members of the travel party paint a pinky nail green in a show of solidarity.
- Notre Dame hasn't lost at home since Dec. 5, 2012, when they fell to Baylor, 73-61. Fittingly enough, Baylor looms as an Elite Eight match up if they beat Kentucky in the earlier game Saturday.
- Oklahoma State's top point guard Tiffany Bias didn't practice until Friday after suffering an ankle injury against Purdue. If healthy, Bias (13.8 points, 6.1 assists per game) figures to be a top target for the Irish.
- Expect to see the Irish spreading the wealth early and often. Throughout the season, five different players have led Notre Dame in scoring (Kayla McBride, Natalie Achonwa, Jewell Loyd, Michaela Mabrey and Madison Cable).