Not Done Yet: Notre Dame Mounts Crazy Comeback in ACC Tourney
- Author: Marlene Weaver Mar 09, 2018,
Mar 09, 2018, 1:53
Senior guard Matt Farrell spearheaded a second-half comeback as Notre Dame wiped out a 21-point deficit to defeat Virginia Tech 71-65 in the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament's second round Wednesday night at Barclays Center in NY.
"How about that, huh?" "They have a program, and that's what we told our guys-forget about a couple of guys being out, even though they're terrific guys being out", Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski said after January matchup.
Tech has already locked up an NCAA at-large bid, but Wednesday's early departure from the ACC Tournament may cause some concern come Selection Sunday.
Hard to say - but they sure woke up the echoes on this snowy night in Brooklyn.
"I think we really dug in defensively, and that helped us on the offensive end", said Farrell, "When we defend, we think we can be a very good team". I think all the veterans have played really, really well and so, I mean, we kind of knew that we would have to be patient with this group, with as numerous young kids who are playing and pitching in particular, so we'll continue to be patient.
"I feel like our younger position players are doing really, a pretty good job".
Second half: Notre Dame made adjustments and overcame a 21-point deficit.
Fatigue was noticeable for Irish star forward Bonzie Colson.
"We disintegrated", said Hokies' head coach Buzz Williams. 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. "We just completely fell apart".
Regardless, the Irish took advantage.
Did Farrell, who had grabbed the ball from Clarke, sell the call? Virginia Tech would carry a 34-21 lead into halftime while holding the Irish to 26% shooting in the first twenty minutes. "Those are the shots that you've got to hit during those times".
Notre Dame had no rhythm, no confidence, no energy. And when it was over, Farrell and Colson embraced in a big bear hug, senior to senior. "I think it's going to be a testament to the perseverance and relentlessness". "He's been a brother to me for my four years here". It was Colson's second game in as many days after an 8-week layoff due to a broken foot. Rex Pflueger had 14 points and nine rebounds, and T.J. Gibbs added 13 points and seven assists for Notre Dame. "I think it's most important just not to overcomplicate things", he said, per the Associated Press (h/t ESPN.com). "Tonight you saw it, the toughness hanging on in there". We didn't guard and they scored 45 points in the last 15 minutes. The Irish started the rally up their points. The Blue Devils dominated the second half and won 88-66. The Irish picked up a win against Pitt on Tuesday, but that win would certainly not be enough to put them on the right side of the bubble.
A third game between Duke and North Carolina is still on the table, while Notre Dame and Louisville have marquee opportunities to get an NCAA tournament berth by beating top-five teams on Thursday.
The 5th ranked Duke Blue Devils (25-6) finished off their season in impressive fashion with a 74-64 victory over the North Carolina Tar Heels and come into the New York Life ACC Men's Tournament as the 2-seed after finishing conference play with a 13-5 record.
Notre Dame was desperately seeking to enhance its resume for NCAA Tournament consideration with the return of senior forward Bonzie Colson, who missed about two months before rejoining the lineup last week.