COLUMBUS, Ohio -- From the moment it clinched its spot in the NCAA Final Four, the University of Connecticut women's basketball team promised it would be different here.
But the heartbreaking end for the Huskies was the same, almost eerily so.
All-American Arike Ogunbowale's jump shot from just inside the 3-point line with one second left in overtime Friday night gave Notre Dame a 91-89 win over UConn in a national semifinal game before a crowd of 19,564 at Nationwide Arena.
"My team trusted me to have the ball at the end," Ogunbowale said. "I mean, it felt good. I didn't know it was going in, but it felt good."
It was a year ago Saturday that Mississippi State's Morgan Williams hit a pull-up jumper at the overtime buzzer to end the Huskies' 111-game winning streak and four-year reign as national champion in the Final Four.
The Bulldogs held up their end for the rematch many people wanted to see as they advanced to their second consecutive final in dramatic fashion Friday night. In a contest marred by a controversial technical foul call by referee Lisa Mattingly against Louisville's Sam Fuehring with 2:42 left of a one-point game, Roshunda Johnson nailed a 3-pointer with 5.7 seconds left to force overtime and Mississippi State outscored Louisville 14-4 in the extra session for a 73-63 win. All-American Teaira McCowan had 21 points and a NCAA Final Four record 25 rebounds and played all 45 minutes for the Bulldogs (37-1).
But they'll face the Irish (34-3), who will be seeking their first title since 2001 but lost in the championship game four times in a five-year span (2011-12, 2014-15). It's the first time in the 37-year history of the NCAA Tournament that both national semifinal games were decided in overtime.
UConn finishes 36-1 for the second straight year. The Huskies have not lost a game in regulation since the 2013 Big East Tournament final and even then it took a layup by Natalie Achonwa with 1.8 seconds left to give Notre Dame a 61-59 win.
They are 0-7 in overtime games -- four of the losses to Notre Dame -- since beating South Florida at Gampel Pavilion on Dec. 1, 2004.
"It was one of those games where it was just a grind back and forth the entire game and it was just a battle," UConn guard Kia Nurse said. "There were so many times they could have put us away, and we clawed and clawed and clawed our way back into it and made big play after big play."
Notre Dame -- which led by 13 in the first quarter, trailed by 11 in the second quarter and eight in the fourth, then lost five-point leads in the final 20 seconds of regulation and 45 seconds of overtime -- made one more.
Sophomore Jackie Young had a career-high 32 points for the Irish while Ogunbowale had 27.
Napheesa Collier led the Huskies with 24 points. Azura Stevens added 19 points and Katie Lou Samuelson 16 but the two-time All-American had only three after halftime. All-American Gabby Williams had a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds. She also grabbed the 1,000th rebound of her career.
UConn was making its 11th consecutive Final Four appearance and is 6-5 in national semifinals in that span, 11-8 overall in 19 berths. The Huskies are 11-0 in national championship games.
A 12th title game will have to wait till next year.
"When you do something that seems so effortless you do get kind of numb and forget it's very difficult to win a national championship," UConn coach Geno Auriemma said. "There are no bad teams left, no bad players. You can't back into it.
"They were better than us tonight."
It was the sixth time in eight years and seventh time overall the Huskies and Irish have met in the Final Four. Notre Dame holds a 4-3 edge having also won semifinal games in 2001, 2011, and 2012 (in overtime), while the Huskies were victorious in the 2013 semifinals and the 2014 and 2015 finals.
UConn took its only lead in overtime Friday night on a Nurse 3-pointer at 82-80. A 9-2 run by Irish put them ahead by five. But a basket by Collier and a trey by Crystal Dangerfield tied it again with 29 seconds remaining.
The Irish held for the final shot and Ogunbowale delivered. Samuelson's attempt to get something towards the basket did not fall and did not beat the buzzer anyway.
"What a shot by Arike, unbelievable," Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw said. "She does it all the time in practice."
UConn had won 38 consecutive games against Atlantic Coast Conference opponents dating back to a loss to North Carolina on Jan. 15, 2007.
The Huskies' seniors, Nurse and Williams, finish their careers with a 148-3 record.
"They're going to remember this one and last year's for a long, long time," Auriemma said. "The two championships they won freshman and sophomore year are probably distant memories right about now. But when they look back, they're going to look at what an amazing career they both had and what a great impact they had on Connecticut basketball and the people that they've come in contact with up at Connecticut.
"That's the unfortunate thing about being a senior in college. Very, very few kids have their senior season end with a national championship. It's happened to a lot of kids at Connecticut, but it wasn't meant to be for these two."
UConn's start Friday night was reminiscent of a year ago when it fell into a 16-point hole against Mississippi State.
With the Irish leading 7-6, Young scored 11 points in a 17-3 run to match the Huskies' point total and give her team a 13-point advantage. Samuelson's 3 at the buzzer made it 24-14 after one.
But then UConn's defense -- a zone -- tightened and its offense found life. Two baskets by Stevens, a hoop by Williams, a trey by Samuelson, and a Stevens free throw tied it. The teams then exchanged scores and Jessica Shepherd made it 30-27 for the Irish.
The Huskies, though, had a second surge in them.
Back-to-back baskets by Williams and Stevens gave UConn its first lead since 2-0. Williams then followed with two more hoops. Two baskets by Samuelson and a pass by Samuelson to Collier gave the Huskies 14 straight points and put them up by 11. Notre Dame closed the half with baskets by Kathryn Westbeld and Ogunbowale -- the second coming after UConn could have run most of the period out on its last possession -- to make it 41-34 at the break.
The Irish have been strong throughout the NCAA Tournament in the third quarter and were again, twice taking one-point leads. Two Stevens layups gave the Huskies a 60-57 edge going to the fourth.
The Huskies led by eight after a Dangerfield 3-pointer with 6:49 remaining but it slipped away. Young gave Notre Dame the lead with two free throws with 1:32 left. After a turnover by Williams, Ogunbowale hit a fallaway jumper off an inbounds pass with one second on the shot clock to make it 77-74. After another turnover, Ogunbowale hit two free throws for a five-point lead.
Collier nailed a 3-pointer to give UConn life. Then Nurse, the 2018 national Defensive Player of the Year, made a steal and layup to tie it with nine seconds left. The Huskies got the ball back with three seconds to go but Williams misfired sending it to overtime.
Overtime was Notre Dame's and Ogunbowale's time.
"We knew we were playing a great team, obviously, and we knew they had a lot of players that could decide the game," Auriemma said. "They thought they had us put away a couple of times, and we kept coming back and coming back. We just ran out of time."
Williams grabbed her third rebound of the game with 8:32 left in the second quarter to become the seventh UConn player, and first listed at under 6-feet, to reach 1,000 for her career and join the Huskies' 1,000/1,000 club. Tina Charles is UConn's all-time leader with 1,367 rebounds. She is followed by Maya Moore (1,276), Rebecca Lobo (1,268), Breanna Stewart (1,179), Stefanie Dolson (1,101), and Jamelle Elliott (1,054).
Only two players in UConn history -- Williams and Moore -- have more than 1,000 points, 1,000 rebounds, 400 assists, 300 steals, and 100 blocked shots.
Williams and Nurse could be first-round picks in the WNBA Draft on April 12. Three starters will return for the Huskies while top reserve Stevens has one more year of eligibility but could declare for the WNBA Draft as the Duke transfer's original class graduates in May.
And they'll start another journey on the road to the Final Four.
"Sometimes you have to be exposed to this and fail when it's all on you," Auriemma said. "It's a great learning tool. But I'm a pretty smart guy. I don't need to learn this crap two years in a row."