For all of those reasons, the joy of victory was tempered by the sight of Achonwa limping to the locker room -- not without first vociferously imploring her teammates to finish the job -- after an apparent knee injury with a little more than four minutes to play. Wearing warm-up paints, she returned to the court in time for the celebration.
How it was won: Notre Dame has been as good an offensive team this season as there is in the country, and even with one of its key players almost completely written out of the script and another limited in the second half, it still scored 88 points and attempted 66 field goals and 33 free throws. Baylor wasn't exactly looking to slow things to a half-court game itself, but Notre Dame got the game at the pace at which it excels. And despite the scrambled feel of play amidst all the whistles, it took care of the ball, committing just 11 turnovers.
Farewell to a star: Sims didn't get the points she needed to break Jackie Stiles' NCAA single-season record, but she can't hang her head after Monday's performance. She wasn't perfect, and the intentional foul hurt, but 33 points on this stage was a worthy final game.
What's next: Notre Dame advances to the Final Four to face the winner of Tuesday's regional final between Louisville and Maryland. This is the fourth consecutive appearance in the Final Four for the Fighting Irish, joining a list of just five other schools to accomplish that: Connecticut, LSU, Louisiana Tech, Stanford and Tennessee. No matter the result in Louisville, this will be the first time since their first appearance in 1997 that the Fighting Irish will not play a No. 1 seed in semifinals (in the each of the past four instances, Connecticut).