December 17, 2018

Bagley, Blue Devils down tired Irish

12 March 2018, 03:13 | Randall Craig

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It's recently resurrected senior leader, Bonzie Colson, appeared a worn out, shell of himself after missing almost two months with a broken foot.

The Notre Dame Fighting Irish and 5th ranked Duke Blue Devils will square off at the Barclays Center this Thursday night in the quarterfinals of the New York Life ACC Men's Tournament.

Despite the injuries, Notre Dame never missed a beat until the ACC Tournament final. But in the month of March, inexplicable things tend to pile up in droves.

Irish junior shortstop Cole Daily runs to first base during Notre Dame's 8-3 win over Toledo on April 12 at Frank Eck Stadium. I don't want to hear about one of the best 68.

Notre Dame: Hard to know how the NCAA Tournament selection committee will evaluate a team that went 14-5 with Colson and 6-9 without him. 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.

Bagley and Allen were a combined 8-for-9 on 3-pointers and the rest of the team was 1-for-8 from beyond the arc, but it didn't matter. That's not to say BC was playing lockdown defense-Clemson had its fair share of open looks and recorded a pair of offensive rebounds during the first five and a half minutes of the half, setting up a couple of second-chance scoring opportunities.

"The seniors have been kind of spoiled", Brey said.

Duke thrives on the guys that may not be showing up on college campuses anymore, not if Adam Silver and the National Basketball Association have anything to say about it, and Bagley is the flawless example of that. "But I think we deserve to be in (the NCAA tournament)".

"We have emptied the tank, and we'll see what our fate is down the road", Brey said.

Guards Justin Bibbs and Justin Robinson tallied a team-high 15 points apiece and forward Kerry Blackshear Jr. nearly posted a double-double with nine points and eight rebounds. Notre Dame forced the Hokies to take a bad shot and from there it was ball game. The Hokies' lead still held at 54-37 with under 11 minutes to go.

The Fighting Irish, who trailed by as many as 21 points, rallied to beat Virginia Tech after being down by 18 with 12:23 left. Clark took exception to that and shoved Farrell resulting in a technical foul. Farrell said after the game his tenacity and energy that ignited the play proved to be the clear momentum shifter his squad needed.

"I'm definitely going to go to church on Sunday morning", Farrell said. The game is scheduled to start at 7 pm eastern time, on ESPN2. "We're still getting healthy, but we can't make excuses, and we'll see what happens". The Irish's 21 points at half were their fewest since February 3 against NC State when they scored exactly 21, too. Needing at least a win tonight and possibly another to secure a spot in the NCAA Tournament, the Irish found themselves down 21 points with 15 minutes left against the 7th seeded Hokies of Virginia Tech.

They lost four pivotal players to injury — but only three games. "But they're a very good team, when their bigs are playing like they did tonight and knocking down shots, they're a Final Four team". Irish star Bonzie Colson pumped in 10 first-half points, and Notre Dame was down only four at the break.

At that point Colson was two games from returning after almost two months away due to a foot injury. This time around, he said, it's a whole different ballgame.

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