The moment the “Subway Alumni’’ have longed for finally has come. It’s just maybe not exactly the way they envisioned it.
Notre Dame’s faithful have long hoped to see the Fighting Irish capture a basketball title in the New York spotlight. It didn’t happen during 18 seasons in the Big East at the Garden, but now it might.
Third-seeded and 21st-ranked Notre Dame built a big lead against second-seeded and No. 16 Florida State and held on for a 77-73 ACC Tournament semifinal victory Friday night before 18,109 at Barclays Center, a record college basketball crowd for the building. The Irish (25-8) will face No. 14 Duke at 9 in Saturday night’s championship game.
“We’re going to need to score against Duke. We’re not stopping them,” said coach Mike Brey, a former assistant under Krzyzewski. “We’ve got to score. We’ve got to be really efficient offensively.”
Said Matt Farrell, “We’re playing really well on offense and we’re confident. We’re going to go in there and do what we do.”
Bonzie Colson (18 points) had 11 points in a 27-10 run that closed the first half and gave the Irish a 42-26 lead. Matt Ryan hit two three-pointers and scored eight of his 11 points in the burst. State (25-8) put together a 9-1 run to get within 73-68 with 44 seconds left but never got it to a one-possession game.
Steve Vasturia had 18 points and Farrell added 15 points and six assists for Notre Dame, which shot 48 percent, including 13-for-27 on three-pointers. Dwayne Bacon scored 18 points and Braia Angola-Rodas had 17 for the Seminoles.