No. 2 seed Duke favored in Vegas to win national championship

NCAA Tournament Selection Committee

"I like what Duke is now doing, they've really come together", Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim said.

North Carolina still hasn't shaken that loss.

More practically, if Duke needs somebody to make a shot, there's Allen, Jayson Tatum or Luke Kennard; if Duke needs a defensive stop, there's the ol' Coach K man-to-man; if Duke runs into a pressure team, there's the double point-guard look of Allen and Frank Jackson; if Duke needs an X-factor, there's freshman big man Harry Giles, a future National Basketball Association lottery pick who has just begun to bounce back from injury issues. Chris Christie was on the edge of his seat behind Notre Dame's bench. The Irish went on to beat North Carolina in the final. The program's first national championship in 1991 came as a No. 2 seed.

Angola-Rodas scored 16 of his 17 points in the second half, including a stretch in which he made four straight 3-pointers against the Notre Dame zone. Jones has been in an extended funk and had missed his only shot of the night, but he did not hesitate, and his 3-pointer bumped the lead to four with 48 seconds left.

As a freshman, the Duke guard averaged 11.8 points per game. As he shot his free throws, there were boos.

"While adrenaline should be enough for the rigors of the NCAA tourney, there's still the issue of depth, particularly in the frontcourt, where 6'7" sophomore forward Eric Paschall is frequently considered their "big man".

Early on, Florida State was careless with the ball, committing 10 first half turnovers. I don't personally see that, but crazier things have happened.

Once again it was up to Notre Dame to honorably represent the Big East transplants.

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.

"I think that was huge for me (last year), getting in the lineup, getting a lot of minutes with guys like Demetrius (Jackson) and guys like that, and even Bonzie (Colson) and Steve (Vasturia), guys that were returning, " said the junior point guard after their 77-73 win over Florida State in the semifinals Friday night. "We've got to make those shots".

Duke's big three, meanwhile, hit 8 of 12 triples, including Allen's four in the first half that Krzyzewski claimed kept his team from falling behind by 20. Brey said that he was fine and will be 100 percent for the NCAA tournament. "Now, our fans don't know about the history of the ACC championship game".

After becoming the first team ever to win four ACC tournament games en route to the conference title, the Blue Devils will look to stay hot this weekend at Bon Secours Wellness Arena in Greenville, S.C. No. 1 overall seed Villanova and third-seeded Baylor are among the teams that could stand in Duke's path to the Final Four. It was by far the best basketball conference with 10 teams ranked inside the top 50 in Ken Pom's rankings. (Villanova, though, is 11-2.) They concluded the season by beating, in succession, No. 7 (RPI) Louisville, No. 5 North Carolina and No. 23 Notre Dame. Danged if two of those teams, Kentucky and Florida, didn't reach the Final Four.

The debate raged on for most of the day before it was finally settled-Duke will be the No. 2 seed in the East region, opening NCAA tournament play Friday against 15th-seeded Troy.

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