Shoni: Happy to be in the Big Easy, but it won't be easy playing the Cal Bears Sunday night.

Shoni Schimmel: 'This Was Our Goal the Whole Season'


Today on Shoni Schimmel blogged about being in the Big Easy for the Final Four.  Here's what was on the Umatilla Thrilla's mind...

Words can't describe how exciting and pleasurable it is to be down here in New Orleans. Except for our fifth-year senior, Monique Reid, we have not had the opportunity to play in the Final Four. And we're all happy to be here!

Even though it wasn't an easy road for us -- losing Shawnta' Dyer, Asia Taylor and Tia Gibbs for the whole season and Reid for a few games -- we still have come a long way. We were lucky to play the first two rounds in Louisville on our home court, but at the same time we did our job to continue on our journey, defeating 12th-seeded Middle Tennessee and fourth-seeded Purdue.

Next was Oklahoma City, the so Sweet 16, where we got the blessing of playing the overall No. 1 seed, the Baylor Bears. Let me tell you something: 6-foot-8 on TV (Brittney Griner) is very different from 6-8 in person! Being the dominant team it is, Baylor didn't give up and came back from a 20-point deficit to make the game very close with nine seconds to go. But with hard work and execution of our game plan, we came out on top. Then we played Tennessee in the Elite Eight to continue our journey to NOLA.

This was our goal the whole season. And after defeating higher-ranked Purdue, slaying the Baylor Bears, beating the Lady Vols ... we've finally made it to the Final Four and can't wait for all the fun to begin.

We can't either. Join ICTMN Sunday evening in the Twitterverse as we tweet during the game versus the Cal Bears (#SchimmelFinalFour;, @indiancountry). Tip-off is scheduled for approximately 6:30 p.m./ET; ESPN will be televising the game, and ESPN3 will have it online (check your local listings and

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