The Blue Devils (27-8, 11-7 ACC) are the first No. 5 seed to win the tournament and the first team to win the championship by winning four games in four days. The No. 22 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (25-9, 12-6) were doomed by their interior defense and their putrid 24 percent from beyond the three point line.
Colson finished with 29 points and 8 rebounds in 37 minutes of play. V.J. Beachem and Matt Farrell had 15 and 13 points, respectively.
Four Blue Devils players scored double digits, paced by Jayson Tatum with 19 points. Duke made 72.2 percent of their two-point tries. Tatum, Luke Kennard, Amile Jefferson and Matt Jones all logged more than 30 minutes tonight despite the team’s grueling tournament schedule. Kennard was later named the tournament’s most valuable player.
The Irish did not take their first lead until 17:13 remaining in the second half, when Rex Pfleuger drained his first and only three point score of the game. The two teams traded the lead six times before Duke finally pulled away when Jones score his only three points of the game. That gave the Blue Devils a 71-67 lead with 51 seconds remaining that they would not relinquish.
The Blue Devils won the two teams’ prior matchup Jan. 30 in South Bend, 84-74.
Final stats, courtesy of SCACCHoops.com: