Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs. Duke Blue Devils ATS Preview 03/08/18

Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs. Duke Blue Devils ATS Preview 03/08/18

Bonzie Colson pounded his chest and screamed in triumph. I think we fell apart, as well, on defense, and I feel like it translated over to our offensive game. The Irish achieved a 29-3 record against the No. 1 rated strength of schedule, defeating nine ranked opponents along the way, which stands as the second most in the country.

"How about that, huh?"

"Well how about that?" a jovial Notre Dame coach Mike Brey said.

LOUISVILLE (RPI: 37, KenPom: 34, NBC seed: Next four out): Louisville didn't earn an NCAA tournament bid on Wednesday afternoon when they beat Florida State, but they did put themselves into a position where they can win and get themselves in on Thursday. But Notre Dame wouldn't go quietly as the Irish ripped off a 24-7 run to pull within eight points.

Hard to say - but they sure woke up the echoes on this snowy night in Brooklyn. I think we scored four points on run-outs.

Colson made a banked-in 3-point basket for a 60-59 lead with two minutes to play to provide Notre Dame with its first lead since the opening minutes.

Notre Dame went with just a six-player rotation in tight games.

Colson broke his foot in practice one game into the ACC season and the Irish went 6-9 without him. "We've got to start games like that". The Hokies then scored 19 of the next 23 points to take its first double digit lead of the night at 27-17 with seven minutes left in the first frame.

Duke forward Marvin Bagley III shoots against Notre Dame forward Bonzie Colson during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in the Atlantic Coast Conference men's tournament Thursday
Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs. Duke Blue Devils ATS Preview 03/08/18

Maybe never in University of Notre Dame men's basketball history has such a disappointing first half - featuring out-of-character, shake-your-head poor shooting - been followed by a 15-minute period that so completely flipped the script. As he protested, Farrell snatched the ball from his hands to take it out for the Irish.

They looked heavy-legged, Colson was having a miserable night (he finished 4 of 14), and Virginia Tech was unstoppable on the other end of the floor. "Those are the shots that you've got to hit during those times". Carr lost the ball on Pitt's next possession and Notre Dame closed it out without further drama. And when it was over, Farrell and Colson embraced in a big bear hug, senior to senior. Offense wasn't great. They started switching everything just to try to keep us in front. "He's been a brother to me for my four years here". A 6-foot-6, 224-pound senior forward, Colson was playing on back-to-back days after playing just three games in the last 66 days before Wednesday because of a broken foot.

"They do the talking in the huddles now", Brey said. "Tonight you saw it, the toughness hanging on in there".

Guards Justin Bibbs and Justin Robinson tallied a team-high 15 points apiece and forward Kerry Blackshear Jr. nearly posted a double-double with nine points and eight rebounds. The Irish's 21 points at half were their fewest since February 3 against NC State when they scored exactly 21, too.

Brey thinks a win over the Blue Devils gets his team into the NCAA Tournament.

Regardless of Miami's struggles so far this season, Aoki and his squad know that the team they will be facing this weekend is not one to be overlooked.

Now with a win over Virginia Tech, and a pending matchup with a college basketball blue-blood in Duke, Notre Dame can make its case as to why the selection committee should pick it. Still, this was a very disappointing way to make a postseason exit.

The ACC's best shooting team during the regular season, Virginia Tech exited the conference tournament Wednesday with a shocking collapse.

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