Bagley, Blue Devils down worn out Irish

Point taken Duval finds his way at the right time for Duke

Point taken Duval finds his way at the right time for Duke

It looked as if Colson and Farrell were going to finish their college careers by missing the NCAA Tournament for the first time. Colson missed 14 of Notre Dame's 32 games, but even though he's one of the 10 best (or certainly most valuable) players in the country, the résumé still lacks with him in the lineup.

Should the Irish win its first three games in the tournament, they will play in the NIT Final Four in Madison Square Garden on March 27th and 29th.

"How about that, huh?"

"I've never been a big guy to campaign, but I think we really deserve to be in [the NCAA tournament]", Irish coach Mike Brey said.

"We beat a really good team tonight".

Marvin Bagley scored 19 and pulled down 13 rebounds to lead Duke.

The Irish have made the tournament in seven of the last eight years.

Hard to say - but they sure woke up the echoes on this snowy night in Brooklyn.

"I definitely think that we're getting better and we're continuing to grow as a team". "I think Isaiah (Wilkins) is probably the best at it, even being undersize down there, but he just has so much fight. We can't assume that we have an extra day because one loss and we're back home and we don't get to come back, practice a little bit more, come back and play in this tournament again".

With the Irish stars struggling to make shots, seventh-seeded Virginia Tech (21-11) was cruising along with a 47-26 lead with 14 minutes remaining when Farrell drained his second consecutive 3.

Duke will need more production from both Allen and Bagley to fend off the Irish down the stretch, but their hot start bodes well for the Blue Devils. The Blue Devils' 48.4 offensive rebounding percentage was their biggest strength over the Fighting Irish, who had a rate of 28.2.

"We disintegrated. We didn't guard". Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said sarcastically in a press conference last week. "Just completely fell apart the last 15 minutes defensively". At one point, the Notre Dame Leprechaun tried to take a charge from North Carolina mascot Rameses.

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Regardless, the Irish took advantage.

That victory came as part of a 14-game winning streak that was sandwiched by losses to Louisville — by 33 points on January 11, then by two on Sunday for its first defeat in a tournament game in its new conference. There isn't a single player in college basketball that shoots contested and open mid-range shots as effectively as Colson.

Notre Dame kept it close for the opening moments of the 2nd half.

"That meant a lot to us".

Colson is a great team defender, but his area of weakness is guarding on the perimeter. "He's been a brother to me for my four years here".

Spalding finished with 16 points for Louisville.

"The seniors have been kind of spoiled", Brey said. "And tonight you saw it".

"It's a learning experience" said Justin Robinson who also scored 15.

USC, Notre Dame, Baylor and Saint Mary's grabbed No. 1 seeds for the National Invitation Tournament after their NCAA bubble burst, and Louisville, Oklahoma State, Middle Tennessee and OR joined them in the 32-team field. He made only 1 of 6 shots for 4 points and grabbed 4 rebounds. Still, this was a very disappointing way to make a postseason exit. That was the fourth most threes by a Blue Devil in ACC Tournament history, and Allen tied his own school record for long range accuracy in the tournament.

The No. 5 Duke Blue Devils (25-6, 13-5 ACC) clash with the Notre Dame Fighting Irish (20-13, 10-10 ACC) in the Atlantic Coast Conference Tourney at Barclays Center.

Colson returned late in the regular season and Notre Dame picked up two wins in the ACC Tournament before losing to Duke in the quarterfinals.

Virginia Tech arrived with the idea of solidifying its bona fides for the NCAA tournament.

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