Baylor coach Kim Mulkey was in this position once as a player at Louisiana Tech. She entered the last game of her freshman season, 1980-81, with a perfect season hanging in the balance.
Win, and you're a historical success. Lose, and -- fair or not -- that one defeat ends up defining your entire season. That's what Mulkey and the Lady Bears face Tuesday night in the NCAA title game against Notre Dame (ESPN and ESPN3, 8:30 ET).
"We're 39-0, and you don't want to lose that last game," Mulkey said. "But if we were 30-10, we wouldn't want to lose the last game.
"We've said all year long that whoever beats us, just make sure you didn't beat yourself. Make sure that team was better than you that night. And Notre Dame was here last year."
Indeed, the Irish are in their second consecutive national final, and they're trying to do what no other team has in the NCAA era: knock off an unbeaten squad in the last game of the season.