March 15, 2015

Recap | Box Score | Quotes | Photo Gallery

  • With its 90-82 win over fifth-seeded North Carolina in the title game of the New York Life ACC Tournament, third-seeded Notre Dame won its first conference tourney in school history. The Fighting Irish played in the semifinals of the Big East Tournament on six occasions, but never reached the championship game.
  • The Fighting Irish claimed the championship in their second year of membership in the Atlantic Coast Conference, becoming the first school outside of the league’s original membership to win the title in its first or second year in the ACC.
  • Notre Dame became the ninth third-seeded team to claim the ACC Tournament championship in the 62-year history of the event.
  • The No. 3 seed is now 3-0 vs. the No. 5 seed in ACC Tournament championship games. With North Carolina’s loss, the No. 5 seed is now 0-4 all-time in the title game.
  • Notre Dame became the third team from outside North Carolina to win the tournament title in the Tar Heel state by defeating both UNC and Duke along the way, joining Maryland (1958) and Georgia Tech (1993).
  • Trailing 64-56 with 9:21 to play on Saturday night, the Fighting Irish countered with a 24-2 flurry that put them ahead 80-66 with just under three minutes remaining in the game.
  • With 24 points and 10 assists against the Tar Heels, tournament MVP Jerian Grant of Notre Dame hit double figures for the 31st time in 34 games this season and the 96th time in his career. The Fighting Irish senior has scored 20-plus points a team-best 11 times this season.
  • Grant now has five double-doubles on the season and nine for his career. In three ACC Tournament games, Grant averaged 16.7 points and 6.3 assists.
  • Notre Dame entered the game as the ACC’s top-shooting team from 3-point range and lived up to that billing by knocking down 10 of 20 shots from beyond the arc Saturday night. The Irish shot .583 from the floor in the second half and .542 for the game.
  • The Irish prevailed against a UNC team that shot .530 from the floor – including .576 in the second half. It marked the seventh consecutive game in which UNC has shot above 50 percent from the floor in the final 20 minutes.
  • This is the fifth championship game in history in which both teams shot better than 50 percent from the floor and the third in which both shot better than 53 percent (also 1981, 1982, 1987 and 2007).
  • With 20 points on Saturday night, Notre Dame senior guard Pat Connaughton reached double figures in scoring for the 25th time this season and the 73rd time in his career.
  • With 14 points on Saturday night, Notre Dame sophomore guard Steve Vasturia reached double figures for the 18th time this season and 22nd time in his career. Vasturia’s effort included a 3-pointer and a two more baskets at the outset of the Irish’s decisive closing run.
  • With his 16 points, Notre Dame junior Zach Auguste posted his 25th double-figure scoring game of the season and the 36th of his career. Auguste also pulled down 13 rebounds for his fourth double-double of the season and the fifth of his career.
  • With 11 points, Notre Dame sophomore guard Demetrius Jackson hit double figures for the 28th time this season and 35th time in his career.
  • Notre Dame’s Vasturia and Connaughton, along with North Carolina’s Marcus Paige and Brice Johnson joined Grant on the ACC AllTournament first team.
  • NC State’s Anthony “Cat” Barber, North Carolina’s Justin Jackson, Notre Dame’s Jackson, Duke’s Jahlil Okafor and Virginia’s Malcolm Brogdon were named to the second team.
  • Connaugthon and Grant combined for 23 points in the first half, which ended with Notre Dame in front 39-34. Connaugton hit his first four shots of the game – including a pair of 3-pointers – en route to 12 points in the first minutes.
  • Grant scored 11 first-half points despite being forced to the bench for the final 4:27 after picking up his third foul.
  • Trailing 19-13, the Fighting Irish responded with a 12-0 run to take a six-point lead and stayed in front the final 11:01 of the first half.
  • But the Irish missed their first six shots of the second half, allowing UNC to counterpunch with 14-2 run that put the Tar Heels in front until Notre Dame’s strong finish.
  • Fifth-seeded North Carolina, 24-11, fell short in its bids to become the first team to win the tournament in its fourth game and the first No. 5 seed to win.
  • NC State in 1997 and 2007 and Georgia Tech in 2010 were the other teams to reach the finals only to lose in their fourth game.
  • The Tar Heels are 93-44 all-time in ACC Tournament play and they have 17 titles, second to Duke’s 19. Their last championship came in 2008 in Charlotte and their last in Greensboro was 1998.
  • Brice Johnson scored 20 points for UNC and finished the tournament with 72 points, the third-highest total in four games. Marcus Paige scored 24 and finished with 68 points, tied for fourth best.
  • Johnson and Paige both reached 20 points for the fifth time this season.
  • J.P. Tokoto had seven assists, tied for his third highest total of the season and had four steals for the third time.
  • UNC dominated the first half in the paint, hitting 12 of 15 shots for 24 points. The Tar Heels finished 23-of-29 for 46 points.
  • UNC went a stretch of 6:03 in the second half with just two points while Notre Dame poured in 24, turning a 64-56 lead into an 80-66 deficit.
  • With Notre Dame’s win, it marks the 13th time – and the first time since 2011 (Duke) – that one school has swept both the ACC men’s and women’s tournament titles. Notre Dame, Duke, North Carolina and NC State are the four schools that have accomplished the feat at least once.