March 13, 2015 - Moving to the Conference Finals

Six times as members of the Big East, Notre Dame played on Friday night in the semifinal tournament game - including their last four seasons as a member of the Big East. Zero times they won and played in the final. It would take two years as an ACC member to play for the ACC Tournament Championship.

Against AP ranked #2 and future #1 seed Duke, Notre Dame came out slugging and playing a completely different game than the night before. Against Miami, Notre Dame knocked down three after three to jump to their lead. Tonight, they charged the lane time after time to get easy lay ups and used defense to go out to an 18-5 lead. Like the night before, Notre Dame held a comfortable lead at halftime, this time up by 16.

The Irish did not have their same scoring difficulties like the night before and held their lead. In fact, ND led the entire game except for the first minute when Duke led 2-0. The final ten minutes would be a test of patience as it seemed Notre Dame was playing 5-on-8. Even Jenkins could not believe the officiating.

Jenkins reacts to non-call against Duke
Fr. Jenkins, coach Mike Brey, and AD Jack Swarbrick react to the non-charge call against Okafor when he plowed into Colson and traveled afterwards.

Duke would close the gap down to four, but Notre Dame held Duke scoreless the final three minutes. The Irish would hit their free throws (22-25 on the night) while purposely putting Okafor on the line (who went 2-8). With a strong finish, ND won by 10.

                 1  2   F
#11 Notre Dame  41 33  74
 #2 Duke        26 38  64

Tonight, for the first time ever, Notre Dame will play for a conference tournament championship. They face North Carolina who defeated fourth seeded Louisville and number one seed Virginia. Notre Dame won the only matchup this year, 71-70 at North Carolina. Last week, the women's team won the ACC Tournament for the second year in a row and the men's team looks to bring home a second trophy to South Bend.

Last season in the ACC opener, Mike Brey became the first former assistant defeat to Mike Krzyzewski. Since joining the ACC, Mike Brey can claim three victories against his former boss who is 19-3 against former assistants. (Brey lost three times to Coach K - 73-79 in his first season at Delaware, 77-84 against #1 Duke in the 2002 Sweet 16, and 60-90 earlier this season)

Keywords: basketball, duke, big east tournament, acc tournament, miami, father jenkins, mike brey, jack swarbrick, bonzie colson, north carolina, womens basketball

Posted On: 2015-03-14 09:33:16 by IrishTrpt07
Edited On: 2015-03-14 09:34:59 by IrishTrpt07


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