All season, Mike Krzyzewski’s Duke has been playing youngsters, keeping its rotation tight and figuring out ways to score a lot – and, of course, win more often than not.
Playing for the second time in about 24 hours at the ACC Tournament in Washington, the defending NCAA champions simply seemed spent.
Suddenly unable to put the ball in the basket, and their lack of depth made clear, Grayson Allen and the 19th-ranked Blue Devils let a 16-point, second-half lead evaporate Thursday and lost 84-79 in overtime in the ACC quarterfinals to Notre Dame, which got 19 points and 22 rebounds from Zach Auguste.
“Our guys … were so well-prepared and so together and then: Boom!” Krzyzewski said. “I’m telling you, the not-hitting-shots, it affects a younger team more. It did today.”
Up 64-48 midway through the second half, Duke’s high-powered offense went silent, stymied in part by Notre Dame coach Mike Brey’s decision to go from zone to man-to-man defense. Auguste’s inside basket with 4 1/2 minutes left in regulation made it 64-62, and during that 14-0 run by Notre Dame, Duke went scoreless for 7 1/2 minutes, going 0 for 8 on field-goal tries, 0 for 4 at the line.
“Those 6 to 8 minutes,” Krzyzewski said, “we were really young.”
While the fourth-seeded Fighting Irish got a double-bye and were making their tourney debut, Duke had to get past North Carolina State in the second round on Wednesday.
V.J. Beachem scored 19 points, including a couple of key 3s late in the second half and another in the extra period, for Notre Dame (21-10), which also beat Duke a year ago en route to winning the league tourney and earlier this season at Cameron Indoor Stadium. In all, the Fighting Irish have now won five of the teams’ last six meetings.
Allen led Duke (23-10) with 27 points, but there wasn’t much help, in part because of foul trouble.
In Friday’s semifinals it’s Notre Dame vs. North Carolina and Miami vs. Virginia.
Big Ten Tournament
Jalen Coleman-Lands scored 17 points and Malcolm Hill broke a tie with a 16-foot jumper with 1:14 to go, helping Illinois fend off No. 20 Iowa’s frantic comeback for a stunning 68-66 upset in Indianapolis.
The Fighting Illini (15-18) won for only the second time in six games – this one after allowing the Hawkeyes (21-10) to score 11 straight points in 98 seconds to tie the score at 66 with 1:40 to play.
Hill gave Illinois the lead with his mid-range jumper and the struggling Hawkeyes didn’t score again. Illinois faces No. 13 Purdue in Friday’s quarterfinals.
The other quarterfinals are Michigan vs. Indiana, Ohio State vs. Michigan State and Nebraska vs. Maryland.
Big 12 Tournament
Buddy Hield scored 39 points, Ryan Spangler made a series of critical plays down the stretch and sixth-ranked Oklahoma beat No. 21 Iowa State 79-76 in the quarterfinals in Kansas City, Missouri.
Spangler finished with 10 points and 12 rebounds, and Isaiah Cousins also had 10 points for the third-seeded Sooners (24-6), who advanced to play ninth-ranked West Virginia in the semifinals.
The Mountaineers rolled past TCU earlier in the night.
Georges Niang matched a career-high with 31 points for the sixth-seeded Cyclones (21-11), who trailed by 14 midway through the second half before making it a game. But after squandering several chances to get within a possession, it wasn’t until Deonte Burton’s 3-pointer at the buzzer that they finally did.
Kansas will play Baylor in the other semifinal.
Robert Hubbs III beat the shot clock with a jumper with 2:09 left, and the Tennessee Volunteers held on to upset No. 5 seed Vanderbilt 67-65 in a second-round game in Nashville, Tennessee.
The Commodores (19-13) appeared to have tied it at the buzzer when Wade Baldwin IV drove for a layup. Tennessee coach Rick Barnes immediately protested to officials, and they ruled the shot was late after reviewing a replay showing the ball still in Baldwin’s left hand when the red light went on.
The 12th-seeded Vols (15-18) avoided being swept by their instate rival and may have seriously hurt their rivals’ NCAA tournament hopes.
In Friday’s quarterfinals it’s Florida vs. Texas A&M, Tennessee vs. LSU, Alabama vs. Kentucky and Georgia vs. South Carolina.
Big East Tournament
Isaiah Whitehead had 24 points and 12 rebounds, Khadeen Carrington scored 27 and Seton Hall ran off the final eight points for an 81-73 victory over Creighton in the quarterfinals in New York.
Carrington put the third-seeded Pirates (23-8) ahead for good with 50 seconds remaining, and Whitehead made several big plays down the stretch before sinking the clinching free throws. Seton Hall will face fifth-ranked and second-seeded Xavier, a 90-72 winner over Marquette, in the semifinals Friday night.
Cole Huff had a career-high 35 points for the sixth-seeded Bluejays (18-14).
Today’s semifinal matchups are Providence vs. Villanova and Seton Hall vs. Xavier.
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