No. 14 Duke makes history in winning ACC title

By Everett Merrill, The Sports Xchange
Fans hold up K signs for Duke Blue Devils coach Mike Krzyzewski. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/fbb23f280eae9957409630b41be3d48a/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
Fans hold up K signs for Duke Blue Devils coach Mike Krzyzewski. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

NEW YORK -- Duke became the first team in ACC tournament history to win four games in four days, culminating with a 75-69 victory over Notre Dame to claim its record 20th tournament title on Saturday at the Barclays Center.

Jayson Tatum led No. 14 and fifth-seeded Duke (27-8) with 19 points and eight rebounds. Luke Kennard added 16 points and Amile Jefferson scored 14.


It was Duke's first tournament title since 2011.

Bonzie Colson topped No. 22 and third-seeded Notre Dame (25-9) with 29 points, going 12 of 21.

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Duke overcame a 12-point second-half deficit to defeat No. 10 Louisville in the quarterfinals and a 13-point setback in the second-half to knock off No. 6 and top-seeded North Carolina in the semifinals. They trailed by one with 5:48 to play.

A 3-pointer from Matt Jones, his first points of the game, extended the Blue Devils lead to 71-67 and a three-point play by Tatum put Duke up 74-69 with 25 seconds left.

Tatum's layup moved the Duke lead to 68-65 before Farrell nailed two free throws to pull the Irish to within 68-67 with 1:15 left.


A runner from Tatum with 2:54 gave the Blue Devils a 65-62 edge, before Colson's 3-pointer with 2:27 to go, his first points since the 8:06 mark, tied it at 65-65.

Duke retook the lead at 59-58 on a spinner from Jefferson, then the Irish got it right back on Farrell's jumper with 5:48 to play.

Colson was forced to leave the game after coming down hard on his ankle with the Irish holding a 58-55 lead and 8:06 to play. He returned a short time later.

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A jumper and two layups in a row from Colson and a dunk by Beachem off a steal from Colson allowed Notre Dame its largest advantage to that point, 53-46 with 12:34 to play.

Farrell's layup tied it at 38 for the Irish and Rex Pflueger's 3-pointer provided them with their first lead of the game, 41-40, 2:48 into the second half.

Duke led the entire first half, shooting 53.8 percent. It took a 38-34 lead into the break with Tatum, Allen and Kennard combining for 24 points.

Colson poured in 15 points, including a three-point play that cut the deficit to 36-34 just before the horn.


A dunk from Giles on a nice feed from Allen in the lane gave the Blue Devils their largest lead, 20-12, in the first 9:22 of the game.

Kennard's four-point play (he was fouled by Farrell), put Duke ahead 16-8 at the 13:08 mark.

NOTES: Duke won the lone regular-season meeting with Notre Dame, claiming an 84-74 victory Jan. 30. ... Notre Dame is appearing in the ACC title game for the second time in its four seasons as a member of the conference. ... Duke has an all-time ACC Tournament record of 99-44, a mark that includes the most wins of any team.

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