Skylar Diggins and the Irish are ready to go

INDIANAPOLIS -- Notre Dame sophomore guard Skylar Diggins, who has been blogging for espnW through her team's NCAA tournament run, has reached the big time: the Final Four in Indianapolis.

Diggins and her No. 2-seeded Irish will take on top seed Connecticut at 9:30 p.m. Sunday on ESPN to advance to the national title game against either Stanford or Texas A&M at Conseco Fieldhouse.

espnW's Joanne C. Gerstner caught up with Diggins after the Irish's final practice Saturday and found out how she's doing with all the Final Four hoopla.

Joanne C. Gerstner: So does it seem real now, you're really in the Final Four?

Skylar Diggins: You have to take time to appreciate things that happen. Some people don't fully enjoy the moment. This definitely one of those moments, a moment I will live on for the rest of my life as far as being here for enjoying it, being in my home state of Indiana and the fans showing their love. Our team camaraderie is at our highest right now, everybody is so excited and confident.

This is the thing where you have to step back and thank the Lord for this opportunity, you have to realize this team is blessed and realize this is an opportunity to do great things. But we are not here to just participate. We are here to win it.

I'm so excited to be here; we have some unfinished business to take care of. For sure. We're going to be focused and ready to go.

JCG: You all seem very loose and happy. When do the nerves kick in, and how do you deal with that?

SD: This team has done well handling that, because we do stay loose. We have fun around each other. This game is fun to us.

Sometimes playing on this stage, you feel like, "Ugh, this is becoming a job," toward the end of the year. Your body is fatigued. I think we're using each other to make sure our spirits stay high. We're more anxious than nervous at times. We're just excited to get out there with everybody, our fans, and get all hyped.

JCG: Gotta ask, what's up with the chipped green nail polish? Everybody on the team seems to need a good manicure!

SD: I think we may just keep it on; we've had this on since the Dayton regional. We won with all this on the digits, may as well keep it going. I don't know. I'm the one who's always checking my nails too. I can get my nails professionally done, and then after practice, they'll be chipped already. I may feel grimy tomorrow, I may not even do my hair, just feeling like whatever. We'll see.

JCG: Will you get a good night's sleep before the Final Four?

SD: Oh yeah, of course. We don't play like for a long time Sunday. I'm going to take the time to get my rest, then use the rest of the time to focus, be with my teammates, think about the things we've got to do, go over our scouting reports, and we'll be good. We're preparing our minds to go on the court.

We deserve to be here. We belong here, even if we haven't been here before, and this team knows that.

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