Duke vs. Notre Dame - 3/11/17 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and PredictionBy Kelly Sanders Mar 13, 2017
The Hall of Fame coach couldn't stop smiling, he looked like he was still processing what happened. But the flashy 6-foot-6 freshman point guard is a deserving star, averaging 14.7 points and a nation-best 7.7 assists. It would certainly be an impressive feat, as Duke has already beaten Clemson, Louisville and North Carolina in consecutive days to reach the finals. Whether it's Olympics - I've been on a lot of good journeys, but this was such a good one.
But the argument against the Blue Devils was that the regular-season body of work still mattered and injuries and quality wins could not erase a home loss to N.C. State and losses to Syracuse and Miami even after Krzyzewski returned.
The Irish were denied their second ACC tournament title in three years, but they still enter the NCAA tourney with some momentum after pushing Duke to the limit.
With his 14th ACC title, breaking a tie with North Carolina legend Dean Smith.
Notre Dame couldn't recover from there, and when the Blue Devils' Matt Jones, who's been in an very bad shooting slump (he'd gone 132 game minutes without a field goal), drilled a 3-pointer from the right side with 48 seconds left to put Duke up 71-67, it was the exclamation point on the victory.
Jefferson and fellow senior Matt Jones refused to return to Durham, "to the dorm", without a trophy and a title. But Tatum found the open man, who made his only basket of the night.
"When I got this job, when we were able to steal a win from CT or Syracuse, those were real program wins for us". The Irish were quite hot from beyond the arc, going 13-of-27 with three different players making at least three 3s.
Matt Farrell knocked down a pair of free throws to get back within one point. Bacon led the Seminoles with 19 points. Notre Dame scored to cut the lead to two, but it had not put the Blue Devils in the bonus yet. As he shot his free throws, there were boos.
"If he's not the No. 1 pick (in the National Basketball Association draft), I've got to see the guy who's the No. 1 pick", Brey said.
Loving an underseeded MI at No. 7 upsetting a tough-as-nails No. 2 Louisville team, in a rematch of the 2013 national final here and riding that to the Elite Eight, where the post-plane accident magic will finally come to an end.
Bonzie Colson was a beast for third-seeded Notre Dame (25-9) with 29 points and nine rebounds. "I was just extra aggressive".
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Duke's big three, meanwhile, hit 8 of 12 triples, including Allen's four in the first half that Krzyzewski claimed kept his team from falling behind by 20. "We were always together, and all that [adversity] made us more together".
What better way to anoint the national champs than to have the NY conference tournament winners - who also happen to own the most recent national championship hardware - square off in a deciding finale at the Garden?
"Another great game. Holy mackerel".
"He knows how to manage a game", Allen said. We've only been in the league four years. "It was big. When you play with a lot of emotion and heart you don't ever feel exhausted". Put it this way: Had you known that Duke would make 60.8 percent of its shots to Notre Dame's 40.3, you'd have thought, "Duke by 15". Mostly, the questions have been: Could Duke get healthy? "The next play, we scored on them".
2 seed in the East Region and will take on No. 15 seed Troy on Friday. And they figured it out for four straight days.
And Duke can score on you in multiple ways. Five teams had won as the No. 6 seed.
Meanwhile, Krzyzewski was praising his team's resilience. Instead of set plays, he had the Blue Devils run their motion offense.
"Honestly I was a little bit surprised tonight just because we haven't really swung it like we're capable", UNC coach Mike Fox said. "We played them great".
"I know they were really exhausted, so by taking ownership and attacking like that, they made it work". "They were contested threes and there was just nothing we could do". Down six with nine minutes left, the Blue Devils went on an 11-2 run to take back the lead.
"We won four big games and we learned something new about ourselves, something new about our team", Jackson said.
"They're exhausted", he said. "We've got to make those shots". How are we going to be tough right now? And they figured that out.
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