Irish Hold Off FSU to Advance to ACC Final

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Jayson Tatum showed why National Basketball Association teams will soon be lining up for his services in Duke's 75-69 victory in the Atlantic Coast Conference championship game against Notre Dame on Saturday night at the Barclays Center.

After Matt Farrell sank two free throws for Notre Dame (25-9), Duke's Matt Jones hit his only basket of the game - a 3-pointer - with 48.9 seconds left putting the Blue Devils up 71-67.

"We're going to try to be the first one to do that", Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said. We know that when we're down in games, we have to stay ourselves. "Early in the season, when we weren't playing games, we'd have four really hard days of practice".

Duke won the lone regular-season meeting with Notre Dame, claiming an 84-74 victory January 30 at South Bend, Ind.

The Hurricanes were led by freshman guard Bruce Brown who had 21 points and grabbed seven rebounds. Conversely the Irish totaled seven steals and pressured the Blue Devils into 12 turnovers.

Third-seeded Notre Dame won the late-night semifinal, beating second-seeded Florida State 77-73. Notre Dame has also covered the spread in four straight games and is now 8-2 against the number in its last 10. "You're not stopping them". They're two of 10 ACC teams in Lunardi's field, including Wake Forest and Syracuse among the "last four in". But we've just got to keep our heads up and get back in the gym.

The game wasn't officially over at that moment, but UNC appeared to be done. Bottom line is we shoot 53 percent, and they shoot (36). The Irish have been lights out from three point range so far in the ACC Tournament.

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A dunk from Giles on a nice feed from Allen in the lane gave the Blue Devils their largest lead, 20-12, in the first 9:22 of the game.

Colson had 29 points on 12-of-21 shooting and nine rebounds for Notre Dame. "We are a team that has quality depth and our guys are excited about what the future holds in store for us". It rimmed out. Two possessions later, he drove the lane, absorbed a foul and tried to convert the three-point play.

"I love Grayson", Krzyzewski said. It would certainly be an impressive feat, as Duke has already beaten Clemson, Louisville and North Carolina in consecutive days to reach the finals.

"Those minutes by Harry were huge", Jefferson said.

The greatest rivalry in college basketball and possibly all of sports will write another chapter tonight when ACC regular season champ, UNC meets Duke for the third time this season!

The Irish are now 1-1 in ACC Tournament Championship games. You'll recall the five wins in five nights the 2011 Connecticut Huskies strung together behind Kemba Walker, a splurge they needed just to qualify for the NCAA Tournament - and then they won six more times there, capping what has to be the most improbable 11-game winning streak ever.

"This is new", Krzyzewski said, who broke his tie with Dean Smith to become the coach with the most ACC Tournament Titles in history. "But like Bonzie said, we're really excited and confident right now, We're flowing really well offensively and we're playing good defense so we're confident going into (Saturday) and we're going to have fun".



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