ACC Basketball

The Irish Survive a Second Half Hurricane

(AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

After watching Virginia shutdown Florida State, North Carolina dominate the second half against Louisville and then seeing Duke own NC State, it wasn’t a surprise to watch Notre Dame blow Miami out of the building in the first half of the final game of the day.

Shooting 63% from the floor, including 8-for-13 from three, the Fighting Irish opened up a 43-25 lead at halftime. Pat Connaughton was a perfect 5-for-5, leading the team with 14 points, while Miami hit just 1-for-10 from deep.
Yet, in the second half, the Hurricanes stormed back, completely shutting down one of the best offensive teams in the land with a simple zone. Notre Dame would go a stunning 12 minutes without a bucket and behind Sheldon McClellan (11) and Angel Rodriguez (15), Miami went on a 19-2 run, taking a 51-49 lead with just over six minutes to play.
However, the Irish responded when Jerian Grant found Steve Vasturia open in the corner. He drained the three and gave Notre Dame the lead for good as their defense finally clamped down, holding the Hurricanes to just three buckets in the game’s final six minutes to pull out a 70-63 victory.
Five players scored in double figures for Notre Dame as they improve to 27-5, earning their first ever ACC Tournament victory. They advance to face Duke Friday night.
As for Miami, they fall to 21-12 on the year and will head back to Coral Gables to wait. Sadly, I don’t think the young Canes team is going to like the news. As of now, they are just 62nd in the RPI and have just two wins against the RPI’s top-50, compared to seven loses. They also have four loses outside the top-100 and wins over Duke and NC State back in January are not going to mask those holes on their resume. My prediction…it’s the NIT.

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