No. 5 Duke braces for risky Notre Dame

Carla Harmon
March 12, 2018

The Fighting Irish could not make Duke pay from long distance, as Farrell had a cold shooting night and his team converted just 5-of-23 3-point attempts. Notre Dame was down big by halftime. Senior guard Matt Farrell was 3 for 11, and Pflueger was 1 for 5. He finished the first half with 10 points and eight rebounds.

At that point Colson was two games from returning after almost two months away due to a foot injury.

Second seeded Duke awaits Notre Dame in Brooklyn. Notre Dame won the previous two nights to bolster its NCAA Tournament credentials before running out of steam.

The win puts Notre Dame on the bubble, close to tournament contention. How refreshing it was, then, to hear Brey all but wave the white flag afterward.

The chairman of the NCAA Selection Committee Bruce Rasmussen said Notre Dame was in the NCAA field of 68 until Davidson won and stole a spot. "Now you're saying we can play defense, but we can't play offense". "I think they can beat anybody".

"They just weren't falling", he said.

Notre Dame has an unusual case, obviously.

Farrell's 3-pointer with 13:55 left first ignited the closing run that, initially, Virginia Tech met shot-for-shot. Even before Colson was injured, Mike Brey's team was beaten handily by Michigan State, dealt a neutral court loss by an average IN team, and beaten at home by Ball State.

As for Notre Dame, Rasmussen said, "There are many teams that have had injuries and players that are either not going to be available or players that are available that haven't been for a while".

And three Quadrant 3 losses.

"All the stuff they've been through, they're such tough dudes", Brey said. "Everybody knows that. I'm going to be ready".

Our Jerry Palm updated his bracket Thursday night. The Irish held Louisville scoreless for a span of 18:50 during the 7-1 run to end the half. Notre Dame has an opportunity. "Mike (Brey) has that team together all year, forget it".

Chris Clarke was the only other Hokie to score double digits Wednesday night, scoring 12 for Virginia Tech while adding five rebounds and two assists.

Notre Dame proved when healthy it can play with anyone.

Virginia Tech had the biggest lead in the game with an advantage of 21 at one point. Bowman scored 20 of his 23 points in the back half of the frame, working with Robinson to draw within one possession of the Tigers on two separate occasions. "We shoot the 3 and that's what we do, so it's hard to win when we shoot like this". If I was Coach K I would put Wendell Carter on Bonzie Colson. He's one of the most impressive guys. That's one of the few things you can control in athletics. But the overall resume may not be enough on the surface to stand alone without the first factor weighing into the decision.

Pitching remains a point of emphasis moving forward for the team, and Aoki has highlighted the importance of pitching consistency amidst the volatility of college baseball. "And tonight you saw it".

Colson made a monster rebound following a missed free throw by Duke that led to a late push up the floor by TJ Gibbs. Getting there - making the NIT semifinals at the very least - can be the next goal. But Boston College deserves credit for whittling Clemson's lead, once at 16, down to three points with less than five minutes to play.

"I don't really say a whole lot". "When I have my guys back, we're a top 20 team". "To come back and pull that off?' We'd be really proud". The flurry gave Notre Dame energy and momentum that it never relinquished.

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