No. 5 Blue Devils brace for unsafe Notre Dame

No. 5 Blue Devils brace for unsafe Notre Dame

No. 5 Blue Devils brace for unsafe Notre Dame

Notre Dame erased a 21-point second-half deficit Wednesday night to beat Virginia Tech 71-65 and keep its NCAA tournament hopes alive.

Notre Dame wanted to leave an impression with the NCAA Selection Committee that at full health, it is a team worthy of a spot in the Big Dance. But in the month of March, inexplicable things tend to pile up in droves.

Notre Dame (20-13) later went on a 14-0 run and led by seven points with 35 seconds left. And I don't want to hear about one of the best 68. At the very least, I think that they would have done enough to prove they are a top 30 team in the country with their entire roster healthy, and to me, that's enough to get in.

The Fighting Irish convinced no one they are an NCAA tournament team when they beat Pittsburgh, who went winless in ACC play, by three points in Tuesday's first round. The Blue Devils are averaging 8.4 three-pointers per game on 38.0% shooting from beyond the arc.

On the season, Notre Dame basketball averages 75.2 points, 36.4 rebounds and 14.1 assists per game.

"From a pitching standpoint, I think our kids - the younger guys - just need to understand that they need to just trust their abilities and trust their strengths and not give the hitters too much credit and not think as much", he said. I think you can point to a lot of things. "And we knew this was going to be a little bit of a tough season; we didn't know it was going to be this tough", Stallings said. Junior guard Rex Pflueger poured in 14 points, while sophomore guard T.J. Gibbs scored 13 and Bonzie Colson added 12 to pace the Irish offense. They went on a 17-3 run over a four-minute period to cut the lead to 54-50 with 7:45 to play. Tech continued scoring the basketball at a high rate, manufacturing an advantage as many as 21 points after a Blackshear layup with 15 minutes left to play. After the ball banked in, he kissed three fingers on each hand and gestured to the crowd with arms raised. Farrell's theatrics sent him into press row on the baseline, and Clarke was called for the technical foul.

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In the second-half, there was a monumental shift in momentum. "It was just a great win for us, and it was kind of emotional", Farrell said.

"We disintegrated", said Hokies' head coach Buzz Williams. "We got stops and finally got some points on the board".

Notre Dame couldn't buy a bucket over the first 25 minutes of action, but then all of a sudden, the threes starting falling.

Noted Irish senior Martinas Geben, "The first couple of minutes in the second half we gave up two layups right away. I mean, there have been some ups and downs, but I think guys like [freshman catcher David] LaManna and [freshman infielder] Niko Kavatas, [freshman infielder] Jared Miller, [freshman outfielder] Ryan Cole, [freshman infielder] Spencer Myers, I think they've all made a pretty good transition".

The 10th-seeded Irish advanced to Friday's 7 p.m. quarterfinal, where they will face No. 2 Duke. Colson leads in rebounds with 101. while Farrell tops in assists with 5.3 per game. This time around, he said, it's a whole different ballgame. Although the Hokies had a great game plan to contain Colson with double teams and denying the ball, he finished with 12 points, none bigger than the three that breathed life into the green and gold clad fans in Barclays Arena. "It's going to be another opportunity for us, and we're excited about it".

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