SOUTH BEND – When Notre Dame women’s basketball coach Muffet McGraw found out her Irish were going to play DePaul at 9 p.m. (EDT) last Sunday, she didn’t mince words in her objection to the decision by ESPN.
Tuesday, at least the Hall of Fame coach was consistent in her attitude when she was asked about the 10 p.m. (EDT) tipoff for Friday’s Oklahoma Regional semifinal against Stanford.
“It’s idiotic to play a game at 10 p.m.,” McGraw said. “For our fans, for our media – (newspapers) can’t file your story; it won’t make the 11 o’clock (television) news. It’s just a bad time to be playing.”
On the other end of the Joyce Center, Irish men’s coach Mike Brey has come to embrace the late-night starts, labeling his players “night stalkers,” after late-night victories over Miami, Duke and North Carolina in the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament and an NCAA Tournament win over Butler that stretched beyond midnight.
“It’s a difficult time to play,” McGraw said. “You’ve gotta wait all day. It’s very draining and emotional.”