Baylor completed its incredible undefeated season on Tuesday with a dominating 80-61 to win over Notre Dame in the NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament championship.
Brittney Griner, one of the most dominant players to ever play women's basketball, led the way with 26 points, 13 rebounds, and 5 rebounds. Baylor was the favorite to win the title from before the season even started and cruised through the season with a record 40-0 record on its way to winning the title in Denver.
Baylor coach Kim Mulkey was especially happy that her star junior center got the ring she so clearly deserved.
It's sad in athletics when people feel you have to validate your talent by winning a championship. But that's society, and that's the world we live in, Mulkey said. Brittney Griner, whether she won today or not, will go down in the history of the women's game [as] if not the greatest post player, one of the greatest. I'm so glad that she has that ring now.
Griner had her way with a senior-laden Fighting Irish team that simply had no answer for her dominating presence. After the game Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw made some controversial remarks about her playing style, but appeared to make them as a form of flattery.
I think she's one of a kind. I think she's like a guy playing with women, McGraw said. It's just that there's so many things that she can do that I've not seen a lot of women ... well, really, you know there's been some guards that had some skill like that. But as a post player, she's the best I've ever seen.
Griner is eligible to jump to the WNBA at the end of this season, but told reporters on Tuesday that she planned to return for her senior year. Her return makes Baylor the heavy favorites to repeat as title champions next year.
Money isn't everything; money doesn't really buy happiness, she said. I made a commitment and I gave my word. These are your best years, in college, and I'm trying to have my full experience. It was never tempting. I never really had to think or debate about it.