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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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