Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

FSU Seminoles fall to Notre Dame in ACC semifinals

NEW YORK — After years of coming up short of the conference tournament title game in New York City as a member of the Big East, Notre Dame will finally get a chance to play for a championship in the Big Apple.

Steve Vasturia and Bonzie Colson each scored 18 points and No. 22 Notre Dame knocked off No. 16 Florida State 77-73 Friday night to advance to the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament title game for the second time in three years.

The third-seeded Fighting Irish (25-8) face fifth-seeded and No. 14 Duke on Saturday night at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, trying to make it two ACC titles in four seasons as a member of the conference.

In 18 years playing in the Big East, the Fighting Irish never did reach the tournament title game at Madison Square Garden.

"I like this building way more because my record in Barclays is way better than the Garden," Notre Dame coach Mike Brey said. The Fighting Irish won two NCAA Tournament games at Barclays last year and two more in November at the Legends Classic.

"We were fortunate enough to play in the semis in the Garden, we never got to the Saturday night," Brey said. "And it was electric. I thought tonight was really good. Both arenas I think are on par. We'll probably be in that arena someday. I don't know if I'll still be coaching when we get there, but we'll be in that arena someday too."

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. That team was led by a strong core of upperclassmen such as Jerian Grant, Pat Connaughton and Zach Auguste. Vasturia, Colson, Matt Farrell (15 points) and VJ Beachem (six points and seven rebounds) were the young guys back then. Now they are Notre Dame's core four.

"You know, it shows up in poise," Brey said. "It shows up in outstanding leadership. It shows up in great stability in times of taking punches in a league like ours, which we did."

Dwayne Bacon led FSU (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 on 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, 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.

FSU whittled the lead down 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.

"I think we just kind of combated every run that they made," Vasturia said.

The Irish went 13 for 27 from 3.

"They moved the ball around and executed their offense to perfection, and they knocked down some shots that we just couldn't get to," FSU coach Leonard Hamilton said.

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. The Irish forced 18 turnovers to help overcome getting outrebounded 41-23 by the Seminoles.

"We're bigger, but it was hard to take advantage of our size because they went so small," Florida State's Jonathan Isaac said.

Florida State: Even though FSU 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.

FOOTBALL SCHOOLS

Florida State and Notre Dame have met eight times on the football field, with the Seminoles winning six. In basketball, this was the seventh meeting, third this season. The Seminoles and Fighting Irish split the first two.

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, while at Notre Dame.

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

FSU Seminoles fall to Notre Dame in ACC semifinals 03/11/17 [Last modified: Saturday, March 11, 2017 4:57am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Associated Press.
    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Joe Maddon gets warm reception in return to the Trop

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The night was arranged to honor former Rays manager Joe Maddon in his first visit back to the Trop, and the standing ovation from the bipartisan crowd and scoreboard video tribute seemed proper acknowledgments of his hefty role in the Rays' success during his nine-year stint.

    Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon (70) talks with reporters during a press conference before the start of the game between the Chicago Cubs and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2017.
  2. Rays vs. Cubs, 7:10 p.m. Wednesday, Tropicana Field

    The Heater

    Tonight: vs. Cubs

    7:10, Tropicana Field

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM; 680-AM (Spanish)

    Tampa Bay Rays' Blake Snell poses for a picture during the team's photo day at baseball spring training in Port Charlotte, Fla., Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
  3. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Tuesday's Rays-Cubs game

    The Heater

    Chris Archer's night ended with his 11th loss, but he and the Rays should feel good about his six solid innings. After the forearm tightness scare in Chicago, he had two rough outings (15 hits, 11 runs, seven innings), so Tuesday was a reassuring rebound.

  4. At 6-8, Lightning prospect Oleg Sosunov comes with, and needs, a high ceiling

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — When Hall of Famer Phil Esposito first saw Lightning prospect Oleg Sosunov, he joked that the 6-foot-8 defenseman could reach the Amalie Arena ceiling.

    Lightning 6-foot-8 defenseman Oleg Sosunov competes in the preseason opener. Phil Esposito jokes that Sosunov can reach the ceiling at Amalie Arena.
  5. Jones: Rays' Kevin Cash doesn't mind following in Joe Maddon's steps

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — On this particular night, he's the other guy. He's like a talk-show guest scooted to the end of the couch. He is Kevin Cash. And the Rays manager is standing in the home dugout at Tropicana Field.

    ST. PETERSBURG, FL - SEPTEMBER 17: Manager Kevin Cash (L) of the Tampa Bay Rays reacts to action during the game against the Boston Red Sox at Tropicana Field on September 17, 2017 in St. Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Joseph Garnett Jr./Getty Images) 700012494