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Tatum was taking advantage of his matchup with Steve Vasturia, powering into the lane on back-to-back scores to give Duke a 65-62 edge before Colson's 3-pointer. Jones ran along the baseline, as was his right.

For Notre Dame, a loss would not be too detrimental to its NCAA seeding. "Thank you. I thank my guys for doing it".

After the ongoing beratement of Allen's sportsmanship (or, lack thereof) and his indefinite, one-game suspension; after Krzyzewski's back surgery and absence from the head coaching role while Jeff Capel ran the show; after losing to an unranked opponent in Cameron Indoor for the first time in 124 games and being kicked out of its own locker room by Krzyzewski; after injuries that sidelined Tatum, Giles, Jefferson and Allen. That's good news for Kansas, which went one-and-done in the Big 12 Tournament, and the Tar Heels, who exited in the ACC semifinals. "We certainly could have used some help there".

As two of the most underrated teams in the ACC, Notre Dame and Duke both look to prove their worth to the college basketball world in the ACC Championship.

Notre Dame has eliminated Duke from the tournament each of the past two seasons, including a semifinal victory in 2015.

Hate it all you want, but Duke is about to be a trendy national championship pick again.

"I feel like we've been in every game, overtime with Louisville, Syracuse, beat Florida State late", Boyle said.

"Our team has so much fight and heart in us", said Jackson, a freshman point guard, and I think we established that this weekend. But Notre Dame has a clear idea of what it can't do and what it can, and it plays closer to its capacity than any team in the land. Despite this, I don't see the Irish winning this game.

Unfortunately for the Irish, Duke found one first, and made history in the process. Mostly, the questions have been: Could Duke get healthy?

The NCAA moved the first- and second-round games from Greensboro, which would have given Duke more of a home crowd advantage, to Greenville previous year due to the discriminatory aspects of House Bill 2. Notre Dame was effective sharing the ball in the half, recording 11 assists on 16 made shots.

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Tatum is a freshman.

Tatum, 6-foot-9, is long, can handle the ball, can hit from the perimeter and, in Brey's appraisal, has imposing size.

The No. 14 Blue Devils have used a couple of comebacks to reach this stage and they'll match up with No. 22 Notre Dame for the title Saturday night at Barclays Center in NY.

Tatum was tremendous all tournament. Sure enough, after a missed jumper by Britt, Duke's big three combined for a four-point play that brought Duke to within seven.

They've accomplished a lot already this season: A year after finishing in a seventh-place tie in the Atlantic Coast Conference standings, the Blue Devils went 13-3 in the league to earn a share of second place. Jayson Tatum has been playing like the top-five National Basketball Association draft pick he is.

He gutted out the final few minutes after twisting his ankle with a little more than eight minutes to play while going for a rebound. Not one great run in a conference tournament.

Duke will be searching for its 20th ACC Tournament title and 14th under coach Mike Krzyzewski. Carolina can win it all. The Notre Dame section got really loud, Duke's really quiet. Louisville could reach the Final Four.

"Four games in four days is not an easy task", Duke guard Grayson Allen said. Nobody ever has. Nobody ever will.

Where: Barclays Center, Brooklyn, N.Y.


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