WASHINGTON (Ticker) -- Texas' offense was clicking on all cylinders. The problem was that Notre Dame's was as well.
Freshman Torin Francis scored 21 points and Matt Carroll and Dan Miller each added 20 as the Fighting Irish defeated a top 10 opponent for the third straight game with a 98-92 victory over No. 2 Texas in the championship of the BB&T Classic.
Notre Dame (8-1) started the week Monday with a rout of No. 10 Marquette before a 69-57 victory over No. 8 Maryland on Saturday. Texas was by far the toughest of the three opponents but the Fighting Irish used a late 12-0 run to rally from an 83-78 deficit with under three minutes to go.
"It was a heckuva weekend for us," Notre Dame coach Mike Brey said. "I knew we were able to put some points on the board. We have some offensive weapons."
It was the first time ever that Notre Dame has knocked off three top-10 opponents in succession.
Francis started the rally with a pair of foul shots and Torrian Jones was fouled as he converted a spinning layup. Jones missed his free throw and the loose ball came right to Chris Thomas, who drilled a 3-pointer to give Notre Dame (8-1) the lead for good at 85-83 with just over to minutes left.
"We were down at the time and that put us up," Thomas said. "I knew it was going in. That happened in our last games. It's almost become like a play for us, tip it out for a 3-pointer."
Francis drained another pair at the line and Dan Miller added a 3-pointer for a seven-point cushion with 80 seconds left.
The Fighting Irish withstood three 3-pointers from Texas in the final 72 seconds. Texas forward Brian Boddicker's fourth 3-pointer of the game pulled Texas (5-1) within 94-92 with 26 seconds left. Boddicker then fouled Thomas, who knocked down his free throws.
"Chris Thomas is a great player," Boddicker said. "When I fouled him, I knew it was a mistake."
Thomas finished with 19 points and eight assists in winning his duel with fellow sophomore point guard T.J. Ford of Texas. Ford, who led the nation in assists a year ago, managed to win the statistical battle with 21 points and 12 assists but not the one on the scoreboard.
"I told Chris, 'use your team,'" Brey said. "I thought he handled it very well."
Brey improved to 4-0 in the MCI Center, where his Fighting Irish posted an epic quadruple-overtime victory over Georgetown last season. Notre Dame guard Matt Carroll is 5-0 in the facility.
The outside shooting of Thomas, Miller and Carroll led an assault from long range. The Fighting Irish shot 48 percent (13-of-27) from beyond the arc as Thomas and Miller drained four and Carroll added three.
"We've seen it in preseason," Carroll said. "It's the same to me. We're the type of team that can put numbers up."
Remarkably, Texas was even better from the arc, clicking at 56 percent (14-of-25) and 69 percent in the second half. Reserve Sydmill Harris sank all six attempts for a career-high 25 points.
"I've been known as a good shooter," Harris said. "(But) I don't think I've ever shot it that well."
The Irish led by as many as 13 points in the second half only to see the Longhorns rally. Five points by Harris sparked a 23-7 run that opened up a 76-70 lead with 8:47 left.
However, Texas received little of the strong inside play that was there in its 5-0 start. James Thomas, who scored a career-high 26 points Saturday, managed just six on 1-of-6 shooting.
"If we just did a little bit inside, we win the game," Texas coach Rick Barnes said. "If our post guys hit just half of those two-foot shots, we win the game."
Francis led all players with 10 rebounds and was also a force on the defensive end with eight blocks.
Notre Dame became the first team to win the event besides co-hosts Maryland and George Washington since Massachusetts captured the inaugural title in 1995.