The final three seconds felt like forever for the Maryland Terrapins.

Alyssa Thomas could only watch from her back as Shoni Schimmel's potential game-tying 3-pointer flew to the basket before harmlessly clanging off the back rim and setting off a wild celebration by the Terps.

Yes, Maryland is headed back to the Final Four for the first time since it won it all in 2006 after holding off Louisville 76-73 Tuesday night at the buzzer in the Cardinals' home arena.

"She had hit back-to-back, crazy, wild clutch shots," Lexie Brown said of Louisville's star senior. "So for her to, it was a great look, and all I could do was pray that it didn't go in."

Maryland had been up 12 with 2:03 left when Louisville went on a furious rally. Maryland coach Brenda Frese even took a timeout after Thomas, her All-American, hit only one of two free throws with 3.5 seconds left, and Frese let her Terrapins decide whether to foul or play defense. The Terrapins chose to double-team Schimmel and tried to get a hand up.

Thomas scored 22 points and grabbed 13 rebounds as Maryland (28-6) reached its fourth Final Four all-time.

The Terrapins pulled off their second straight upset in Louisville with this victory much harder in essentially a home game for the third-seeded Cardinals (33-5), with a crowd of 14,002 mostly in Louisville red.

Notre Dame: Forward Natalie Achonwa will miss the Final Four with a left knee injury, a big blow to the national championship hopes of the Fighting Irish. Coach Muffet McGraw said Achonwa tore her anterior cruciate ligament in Notre Dame's 88-69 victory over Baylor on Monday night.

Louisiana Tech: Louisiana Tech has hired Tyler Summitt, the son of former Tennessee coach Pat Summitt, to take over the Lady Techsters. He'll succeed Teresa Weatherspoon, who was fired after this season, her fifth at the helm.

ESPN.com contributed to this report.