Trailing by 21 points and its NCAA Tournament hopes hanging by a thread, Notre Dame (20-13, 8-10 ACC) locked in on both ends of the floor and staged a remarkable comeback to defeat Virginia Tech (21-11, 10-8 ACC) by a score of 71-65 to advance to the quarterfinals of the ACC Tournament.
"How about that, huh?" Should I tell Louisville fans that they'd be in right now if they didn't blow a four-point lead with 0.9 seconds left?
Syracuse received zero points from its bench players in eight minutes, and with a long run in the ACC tournament needed to secure a berth in the Big Dance, there are plenty of concerns about the Orange's depth. The Hokies blew a 47-26 lead with 15:07 left and ultimately lost to the Irish 71-65.
Hard to say - but they sure woke up the echoes on this snowy night in Brooklyn.
"For a while there", Notre Dame coach Mike Brey said, "we looked worse with those two guys back". When I have my guys back we're a Top 20 team. "We have another great opportunity to end all the drama of it (Thursday) night, but we need to get some rest".
Yes, Notre Dame (20-13) scored 50 points and shot 57.1 percent in the second half.
Notre Dame will be playing its third game in as many days against a Duke squad that has been off since Saturday.
Where does this leave the Irish moving forward?
Virginia Tech collapses, gets bounced from the ACC Tournament, 71-65
"Backboard is there for a reason", Colson said after the game.
Maybe never in University of Notre Dame men's basketball history has such a disappointing first half - featuring out-of-character, shake-your-head poor shooting - been followed by a 15-minute period that so completely flipped the script. TJ Gibbs would connect on four consecutive free throws to bring Notre Dame within four points before a Justin Bibbs three-ball stopped the bleeding. Ball security should be an advantage for the Fighting Irish. The senior forward shot 1-10 in the first half, and looked physically exhausted. These are times where you've got to show your leadership. And when it was over, Farrell and Colson embraced in a big bear hug, senior to senior. "The momentum swung our way from there, and we were just able to execute", added Geben.
"Every coach in the country thinks his team is a tournament team", Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim said. "He's been a brother to me for my four years here". Colson was recovering from a broken foot that sidelined him for two months, and Farrell was nursing a bone bruise in his ankle.
Notre Dame was 8-for-32 in opening half. Like Coach said, we just fell apart. "And tonight you saw it".
"I have no idea", junior point guard Justin Robinson said.
Farrell led the Irish with 22 points while Colson chipped in a modest - by his standards - 12. ESPN's bracketology expert, Joe Lunardi, had the Irish as the fifth team out of the tournament coming into Wednesday's game. It hasn't been easy but the Irish are still in it at Barclays Center, where they are 9-2 all-time. Still, this was a very disappointing way to make a postseason exit.
The 5th ranked Duke Blue Devils (25-6) finished off their season in impressive fashion with a 74-64 victory over the North Carolina Tar Heels and come into the New York Life ACC Men's Tournament as the 2-seed after finishing conference play with a 13-5 record.
Matt Farrell (Notre Dame) scored a team-high 22 points for the winning team, making 5 of 13 attempts from the field for a 42.9% field goal percentage. Duke won the only regular season meeting 88-66 at Cameron Indoor Stadium on January 29.