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Notre Dame tops Florida State to reach ACC title game

Notre Dame guard Steve Vasturia (32) goes up for a shot against Florida State in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game during the semifinals of the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament, Friday, March 10, 2017, in New York. (Photo by the Associated Press)
Notre Dame guard Steve Vasturia (32) goes up for a shot against Florida State in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game during the semifinals of the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament, Friday, March 10, 2017, in New York. (Photo by the Associated Press)
Notre Dame guard Steve Vasturia (32) goes up for a shot against Florida State in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game during the semifinals of the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament, Friday, March 10, 2017, in New York. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)
Notre Dame guard Steve Vasturia (32) goes up for a shot against Florida State in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game during the semifinals of the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament, Friday, March 10, 2017, in New York. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)
Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.The Associated Press

Vasturia, Colson lead the way for Fighting Irish.

Friday, March 10, 2017 09:31 pm
NEW YORK  — Steve Vasturia and Bonzie Colson each scored 18 points and No. 22 Notre Dame knocked off No. 16 Florida State 77-73 on Friday night to advance to the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament title game. The third-seeded Fighting Irish (25-8) will face fifth-seeded and No. 14 Duke on Saturday night for the ACC Tournament championship at Barclays Center.

Notre Dame has eliminated Duke from the tournament each of the past two seasons, including a semifinal victory in 2015 on the way to the Irish's first conference tournament championship.

Dwayne Bacon led Florida State (25-8) with 18 points.

The Irish and Seminoles had a tough act to follow after Duke and North Carolina had the sellout crowd of 18,109 rocking in Brooklyn.

Many fans dressed in blue bailed for the nightcap. Not New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who was back at Barclays for a second straight night, sitting behind the Notre Dame bench rooting on his buddy, Irish coach Mike Brey.

Notre Dame eliminated most of the drama with a 23-8 run to end the first half that put the Irish up 42-26.

Florida State had the lead down to eight thanks to Braian Angola-Rodas, who scored 14 of the Seminoles' 15 points in one stretch, including a 3-pointer that made it 63-55 with 8:23 left in the second half.

A driving hoop by Vasturia and a hustle putback by Colson nudged the lead back to 12 a little more than a minute later.

BIG PICTURE

Notre Dame: The Irish have thrived with their small lineup, featuring the 6-foot-5 Colson at center. It puts shooters everywhere on the floor and presents matchup problems for bigger teams — such as Florida State. It also helps Notre Dame overcome getting outrebounded as they were by the Seminoles, 41-23.

Florida State: Even though Florida State held a rebounding edge, it didn't do enough damage on the offensive boards. After getting 18 offensive rebounds against Virginia Tech in the quarterfinals, Florida State had nine against the Irish for only eight second-chance points.

UP NEXT

Notre Dame: The Fighting Irish lost their only meeting with Duke this season, but Brey is 5-3 in his career against his former boss, Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski.

Florida State: The Seminoles will wait for Selection Sunday to find out their next opponent. They'll probably be a 3 seed.



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