NCAA Women's Championship Game - Notre Dame v Baylor

Kim Mulkey suspended for Baylor’s next tournament game

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In a seemingly unprecedented move, the NCAA has suspended Kim Mulkey, the head coach of the Baylor women’s basketball team, for the first game of their next NCAA tournament appearance for comments that she made after the Bears were upset by Louisville in the Sweet 16 last season.

“The committee unanimously felt that the behavior of Coach Mulkey was unacceptable and has no place in the women’s basketball championship,” said Carolayne Henry, chair of the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Committee, in a release.

The biggest reason that Mulkey was suspended for a game is that this isn’t the first time she’s gotten in trouble for publicly criticizing officials after a tournament game. She did the same thing in 2011. And I’m sure telling reporters at the press conference she didn’t “mind getting fined” ruffled a few feathers as well.

“I’ll be glad to answer any referee question you want to ask me, because I don’t mind getting fined, so ask me.  Now is the time to ask me, okay?” Mulkey said.

The game was fairly poorly officiated, and Mulkey had a right to be upset. The call that set her off, however, was a questionable charge called on Baylor with 16.7 seconds left. Mulkey was so upset that she tried to rip off her jacket and couldn’t. It’s actually quite funny:

“I thought the game started out way too physical, way too physical. I thought that all three of them, if they go past this round of officiating, it will be sad for the game,” Mulkey said when asked about the officiating. “I thought the two critical calls at the end of the game were really bad. Jordan Madden drives in the paint. We already have the missed shot. She calls an offensive foul on Madden right there. Well, why so late? Odyssey Sims had the rebound in her hand.”

“Then I don’t know about that at the end. It was on the opposite end. I’d have to go see it. You saw it. What did y’all think? Was it a foul? Did anybody here think it was a foul? Honestly, tell me.”

You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.

VIDEO: Duke’s Grayson Allen beats No. 7 Virginia at the buzzer

Duke's Grayson Allen (3) and Marshall Plumlee (40) react during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Louisville in Durham, N.C., Monday, Feb. 8, 2016. Duke won 72-65. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
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Notre Dame’s Steve Vasturia sparks come-from-behind win over No. 13 Louisville

Notre Dame’s Steve Vasturia (32) goes up for a shot over Boston College’s Idy Diallo (4) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Jan. 23, 2016, in South Bend, Ind. (AP Photo/Robert Franklin)
(AP Photo/Robert Franklin)
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Demetrius Jackson scored 20 of his 25 points in the first half and Steve Vasturia scored 15 of his 20 points in the final 20 minutes as Notre Dame landed a 71-66 win over No. 13 Louisville on Saturday afternoon.

The Fighting Irish trailed by as many as 11 points early in the second half, but Vasturia’s hot shooting combined with Notre Dame holding Louisville to just 15 points in the final 15 minutes made all the difference.

The Fighting Irish are not as good as they were last season, but they are built in a similar mold. Jackson, as we expected, as become one of the nation’s most dynamic point guards, impossible to slow-down in isolation and ball-screen actions. Steve Vasturia emerging as a legitimate secondary option offensively and Zach Auguste is one of the nation’s most underrated big men and one of the most dangerous as the roll-man in ball-screens.

Combine all of that with a handful of shooters creating space and Bonzie Colson’s emergence as a force on the offensive glass, and Mike Brey once again has one of the nation’s most lethal offensive attacks.

Where they struggle is on the defensive end of the floor, which is what makes the end of Saturday’s win so meaningful. The Irish entered the day ranked 232nd in KenPom’s adjusted defensive efficiency metric, which more or less means they’re as good as a bad mid-major program at keeping their opponents from scoring.

But they don’t have to be great to be able to win games.

They have to be good enough and they have to get important stops.

That’s precisely what happened on Saturday.

Whether or not that actually becomes a trend for this group will be something to monitor — it happened for Duke during last year’s NCAA tournament — but the bottom-line is this: Notre Dame does something better than just about anyone else in college basketball, and that’s score the ball.

On the nights they are able to gets some stops, they are going to be able to win some games. In the last eight days, they’ve proven that, beating North Carolina, Clemson on the road and Louisville.

And that makes them dangerous in March.