"How about that, huh?" Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said sarcastically in a press conference last week. "But I think everyone's help me out a lot, and we're coming together well". Clemson will open their ACC tournament at 2 p.m. Thursday. The Hokies blew a 47-26 lead with 15:07 left and ultimately lost to the Irish 71-65. I think all the veterans have played really, really well and so, I mean, we kind of knew that we would have to be patient with this group, with as numerous young kids who are playing and pitching in particular, so we'll continue to be patient. We can tell you it's leaning toward the over, but it has also locked in a strong against-the-spread pick that hits in almost 60 percent of simulations. "We have another great opportunity to end all the drama tomorrow night".
Pitching remains a point of emphasis moving forward for the team, and Aoki has highlighted the importance of pitching consistency amidst the volatility of college baseball. "We've got to start games like that". "We just completely fell apart the last 15 minutes defensively".
Regardless, the Irish took advantage.
And when Colson's desperate, contested 3-pointer as the shot clock expired banked in for a 60-59 Notre Dame lead, you thought the die was cast. Farrell then quickly swiped the ball from Clarke's hands, and Clarke tried to grab it back. A win over Virginia Tech would look good on the Irish's resume. "Those are the shots that you've got to hit during those times".
Notre Dame and Syracuse are capable of pulling off upsets Wednesday, but roadblocks stand in their way of doing so in Brooklyn, New York. And when it was over, Farrell and Colson embraced in a big bear hug, senior to senior. "Hopefully we take positives and negatives from this and just move on from it".
"I think it showed toughness", Farrell said. "He's been a brother to me for my four years here".
That's what happens when you're not in game shape, and after returning just last week from a foot injury that sidelined him for half the regular season, Colson is not in game shape.
Notre Dame never could put Pitt away, shooting 4 for 24 from the field in the second half.
Justin Bibbs was the other leading scorer for the Hokies, dropping 15 points as well while going 6-for-14 from the field. The Irish's 21 points at half were their fewest since February 3 against NC State when they scored exactly 21, too. The team shot just 8-for-32 from the floor - 3-for-16 from beyond the arc - and made just two free throws after a 22-of-25 mark in Tuesday's second half against Pittsburgh.
"A big turning point was when Austin Torres (he tied his career high with six rebounds) drew the charge and they called the technical (at 8:00 with the Irish still down by eight)". Still, this was a very disappointing way to make a postseason exit.
Much like the previous two ACC tournament games today, we saw teams attempt to overcome massive double-digit deficits.
When Notre Dame visited Cameron Jan. 29, Colson and starting point guard Matt Farrell-who combined to score 34 points Wednesday-were both on the bench in street clothes.
Irish head coach Mik Aoki has emphasized the need for some of the younger players for Notre Dame (6-4) to fully settle into the transition into college baseball. But not even he could have envisioned what transpired after Rex Pflueger's 15-foot jumper gave Notre Dame a 15-11 edge.