HOOPS Preview: Notre Dame Vs. Duke

Calvin Saunders
March 9, 2018

Graduate of University of Delaware. And then, as Tech coach Buzz Williams put it, "we disintegrated". The aggressive play resulted in good looks, but nervous shots.

Notre Dame inched themselves closer to the right side of the bracketology bubble Wednesday night.

Except nobody really believes him. "There's no way he called it".

The Notre Dame men's basketball team pulled off the biggest comeback in school history Wednesday in the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament, erasing a 21-point second-half deficit and stunning Virginia Tech 71-65 at Barclays Center.

Five players are averaging at least 8.4 points per game for Notre Dame, they are Bonzie Colson (20.3), Matt Farrell (17.0), TJ Gibbs Jr. Farrell scored 22 points to lead four Irish players in double-figures.

Suddenly, Notre Dame's offense started flowing, and Virginia Tech went cold from the field. The Fighting Irish also went 6-9 over an eight-week span after their star suffered a fracture in his left foot.

"I guess that's their fourth game since both of them have been back. If it's good enough, we'll win some games; if it isn't, we won't and we'll go back to the drawing board and do it all over again the next day". "We've got to start games like that". [Junior infielders] Nick Podkul and Cole Daily continue to play at a really high level, getting some contributions from a guy like [senior outfielder] Alex Kerschner, so I think [junior first baseman] Daniel Jung has been much improved.

"The defense really translated over to the offensive end", Pflueger added.

It looked like the slim hope Notre Dame held early this week of reaching the NCAA tournament had been shattered by a more physical, fresh team. The Fighting Irish challenged No. 1 Virginia on the road in their regular-season finale and are riding major momentum with a lot at stake this week in Brooklyn. The Irish grabbed it with both hands.

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They are now in the "Next Four Out" category in our Bracketology and a win against Duke tomorrow still might not be enough.

"Yeah, we feel we've come through more adversity than anybody in the country, but our guys have fought hard all year, and I think it's made us mentally tough", Farrell said. You're not going to want to miss this one. 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 think we scored four points on run-outs.

Three pointers by Nickeil Alexander-Walker and Justin Robinson at the:28 and:18 second marks kept things interesting, but the Irish converted at the line to secure the comeback win.

"They do the talking in the huddles now", Brey said.

"I'm sure this significantly helps our resume, but our focus now is just going to turn to Virginia, a team that we've lost to twice and who we've played well against", Louisville coach David Padgett said.

"There's three things you can control - effort, attitude and energy, and that's what they did, and we got a shot", said Farrell, "We got a shot back at them tomorrow". Defensively, Notre Dame is holding their opponents to an average of 68.3 ppg on 42.8% shooting from the field.

Mike Brey's team trailed by more than 20 points earlier in the contest.

The Irish failed to score on 19 of their final 22 first-half possessions. Syracuse attempted to make a second-half run, but it fell short 78-59 - and the Orange will now face a long wait until Selection Sunday.

JUSTIN AMMERMAN: I would say no.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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