Duke has been cutting down nets and celebrating tournament titles in these parts for more than three decades.
The Blue Devils will now await their NCAA tournament fate Sunday evening. That comeback, combined with the energy they spent the previous two nights, should give Notre Dame an edge heading into tonight.
The Duke Blue Devils and Notre Dame Fighting Irish meet Saturday in the college basketball ACC Championship at the Barclays Center.
The 22nd-ranked Fighting Irish (25-8) looked like the fresher team after intermission, quickly overcoming their four-point deficit to tie the game at 38, then going ahead for the first time on a Rex Pflueger triple with 17:12 remaining.
Duke: The Blue Devils and Tar Heels split two regular-season matchups.
Mike Krzyzewski's Blue Devils are trying to become the first ACC team to play four games in four days and win the league tournament.
"I've done as much as I could to help our team win", said Kennard, the tournament MVP, "to bring success to our team, to this program, and I'm blessed to be able to share that with these guys. We just have to keep working every day and keep picking up our defense".
Florida State and Notre Dame are hardly afterthoughts in the conference equation.More news: Pac-12 Tournament: Oregon Ducks Strong Second Half Sinks Arizona State
-Luke Kennard leads Duke in scoring at just under 20.0 ppg, while freshman Jayson Tatum chips in 16.1 ppg.
The Irish loss can not be pinned on junior Bonzie Colson, who poured in a game-high 29 points while grabbing nine rebounds in defeat.
Miami (21-11) was led by freshman guard Bruce Brown's 21 points. Even in defeat, it was encouraging to see these two guys elevate their games when it mattered most. Matt Ryan went 3-for-4 from deep off the Notre Dame bench to finish with 11. He finished with seven points on 2-8 shooting and 1-5 from three.
Brey learned under Krzyzewski for eight years. "He and Amile defensively turned the game around".
And what they may have done in knocking the rest of the conference out is make what would have been considered an impossible climb from a No. 3 or 4 seed to, perhaps, a top-line seed. In short, little is new to him. And they figured that out. "It was big. When you play with a lot of emotion and heart you don't ever feel exhausted". "That's pretty cool when I've probably been through more than anybody". Whether it's Olympics - I've been on a lot of good journeys, but this was such a good one. Obviously, I'm disappointed because I think our team is very close to being an NCAA Tournament team. For what amounts to the first time all year, Duke appears to have its full complement of players performing with both health and confidence. On the other end of the court, Tatum completed a Duke fast break with a layin and the Blue Devils led 68-65 with 1:35 to play.
"I thought Isaiah was active, we needed to get the ball inside and do a better job in the paint" said Tar Heels head coach Roy Williams.
Trouble was, the Irish have little in the way of depth, and they were playing their third game in three nights. They played in Atlanta in 1929, 1989 and in 2001, and in New York City in 1971. Winning championships is not easy.