The Fighting Irish went just 8-10 in ACC play and have an iffy current RPI of 65, but they also have hope that the selection committee will take the unusual circumstances surrounding that record into consideration. The Irish's 21 points at half were their fewest since February 3 against NC State when they scored exactly 21, too.
No. 1 CT has a top seed locked up, and the Cardinals would appear to have the head-to-head advantage over Notre Dame.
Notre Dame lost their leading scorer Bonzie Colson for 16 games. After Colson's three, Matt Farrell and Rex Pflueger followed with two huge three pointers of their own.
The Duke Blue Devils (25-6) finished fifth in the national rankings and they are one of the teams to watch.
Farrell and the rest of the Notre Dame backcourt began to find holes to pick apart the zone in the closing minutes of the half, and the Fighting Irish clawed back within four points at the break, 41-37, with the help of 24 points in the paint and seven assists from Farrell. There isn't a single player in college basketball that shoots contested and open mid-range shots as effectively as Colson.
Colson made a monster rebound following a missed free throw by Duke that led to a late push up the floor by TJ Gibbs.
Bagley was supported by senior guard Grayson Allen, the only non-freshman in the Blue Devils' starting lineup. That means it could come down to three teams No. 2 Baylor, No. 4 Mississippi State and the Irish for the remaining pair of No. 1 seeds. The Irish started the rally up their points. But they couldn't hit from the line.
Duke (25-6), the No. 2 seed, last played Notre Dame on January 29 at Cameron Indoor Stadium.
"Grayson's leadership has continued to get better and better", Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski said. The basket also gave the senior 1,925 career points, passing Grant Hill (1991-94) for 16th on the Duke scoring list.
Notre Dame has an unusual case, obviously. All of whom have been to the Elite 8 and know how to handle all the postseason pressure in March. The Blue Devils' 48.4 offensive rebounding percentage was their biggest strength over the Fighting Irish, who had a rate of 28.2. J.J. Redick is second on the Duke freshman 30-point game list with two. The loss knocked Tech down to 21-11, 10-9 on the season. "They need to sort of be a little less cerebral and a little bit more instinctual in terms of the way that they pitch and compete". Matt Farrell took the ball from me, and I tried to get it back, and he flopped and fell on the ground and got the technical.
Duke (26-6) killed the Irish on the boards 40-29 and shot 67.7 percent from the field in the second half.
Bagley, Colson's counterpart, proved hard to contain. Carter is a taller, longer, and flat out better defender than Bagley right now.
Marvin Bagley III was the most efficient man on the court.
JUSTIN AMMERMAN: I would say no. Then to spell Geben the Irish bring in Austin Torres.
Colson, the preseason player of the year in the ACC, missed 15 games after breaking his foot in January. Duke and UNC are both struggling to do much of anything offensively.
"It was a great team win".
Ky Bowman scored 23 points, eight rebounds and four assists.
Allen especially liked the effort on the defensive end. "Tonight was a great example of him being at his best".