ibusinesslines.com March 18, 2018

Bagley's big second half helps Duke advance to ACC tournament semifinals

12 March 2018, 05:14 | Jodi Jackson

Modal Trigger Bonzie Nelson celebrates during the second half of Notre Dame's 71-65 victory Wednesday night. Getty Images

Crazy comeback keeps Notre Dame on NCAA bubble

The Irish won two close games but failed to keep pace on the third night as they fell to second-seeded Duke, 88-70, in Thursday's quarterfinal. But Duke didn't waste any time regaining control early in the second half.

Notre Dame had more second-chance points with 10, compared to Virginia Tech's 4.

The Fighting Irish lost at home to Miami the night before.

Notre Dame will be dogged by two bad losses - Ball State and IN - when the selection committee considers its bid moving forward. "He's a can't-miss star in my opinion from what I've seen tonight". But that was without the Fighting Irish's two best players, Colson and Ferrell, who missed the game with injuries.

"Bagley, well, he was just the first pick in the (NBA) Draft", Brey said after the game.

Irish Finish Tourney Slate Strong Notre Dame's six-game winning streak put the bow on a 12-7 tournament schedule to open the 2018 season.

"After he gets a few buckets and starts making that face, the mean mug down the face, you're in trouble", Trent said. "Tonight was a great example of him being at his best". Notre Dame (20-14) made just 5-of-23 from 3-point range and had 31 defensive rebounds to 20 for the Irish. Overall, 14 defeats. That's a lot - and it's a trash heap of Ls when you bring up Notre Dame's team sheet and realize the Fighting Irish only have two Quadrant 1 wins.

Duke ranks eighth in assists per game (17.5) while Notre Dame ranks 186th in assists allowed per game (14.0).

"They rebound at a level above the rim that I haven't seen in college basketball", Brey said.

Specifically, Marvin Bagley had himself an ACC Player of the Year game. Just as the game was slipping away from head coach Jim Christian and Co., Jordan Chatman drained back-to-back 3-pointers-a sequence that revitalized BC's offense. The Hokies then scored 19 of the next 23 points to take its first double digit lead of the night at 27-17 with seven minutes left in the first frame. In 36 minutes, Bibbs added to his stat line, 15 points, 1 rebound, 1 steal and 3 threes with 0 turnovers. After the Tigers strung together their momentum-shifting run, the Eagles went almost five minutes without sinking a single shot.

But the key for Virginia was neutralizing the active bigs of Louisville, Ray Spalding and Anas Mahmoud. The Hokies' lead still held at 54-37 with under 11 minutes to go.

"Our bigs do a heck of a job of (keeping the ball alive)", Hall said.

We need more of this, college basketball. "Tipping those out are huge momentum swings for us". Colson attacked at all opportunities, and finished with 18 points.

On Thursday, Virginia head coach Tony Bennett was named the victor of the Henry Iba Award, given annually by the U.S. Basketball Writers Association to the national coach of the year. Elijah Thomas was forceful inside, finishing with eight points, 12 rebounds and three assists.

"Maybe we didn't have as much lift in our shot", Farrell said. "I told our guys I liked our rhythm". The freshman phenom and ACC Player of the Year came within one point of his career high set against Texas in late November. The underdogs could not get enough stops against Clemson in an offensive shootout. For the game, Bagley was 15 of 23 for 33 points.

The difference, according to Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski, was Bagley attacking the rim rather than tossing it up there. On Wednesday afternoon alone, the duo recorded 50 points in BC's thrilling victory over North Carolina State.

It was the first time Marvin Bagley III dominated a game at the Barclays Center, but it certainly won't be the last. Luke Maye and Joel Berry each have 6 points for the Heels, and Garrison Brooks has 8.

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