Notre Dame wanted to leave an impression with the NCAA Selection Committee that at full health, it is a team worthy of a spot in the Big Dance.
This was some kind of impression.
After looking down and out and trailing by 21 points with 14 minutes left, the Irish pulled off a furious comeback to stun Virginia Tech 71-65 in the second round of the ACC Tournament on Wednesday night at Barclays Center.
Tenth-seeded Notre Dame reclaimed the lead for good in fittingly absurd fashion, as Bonzie Colson banked in an off-balanced 3-pointer as the shot clock buzzer sounded with 2:02 left in the game. It made it a 60-59 Irish lead, just 13 minutes after the seventh-seeded Hokies had taken their largest lead of the game, 47-26.
As it climbed back into the game, Notre Dame used separate runs of 13-0 and 14-0.
The 10th-seeded Irish advanced to Friday’s 7 p.m. quarterfinal, where they will face No. 2 Duke.
The Hokies had closed out the first half on a 23-6 run to take a 34-21 lead into the break. Notre Dame shot just 2-of-18 from the field in a stretch of 10:35 during the skid.
Colson struggled to find much of anything in the first half — though he wasn’t the only one, as the Irish shot just 8-for-32. A 6-foot-6, 224-pound senior forward, Colson was playing on back-to-back days after playing just three games in the last 66 days before Wednesday because of a broken foot.
Colson rallied back to finish with 12 points while Matt Farrell led the way with 22.