What: ACC Tournament Quarterfinal
Where: St. Petersburg Times Forum, Tampa Bay, FL
When: March 9th, 12:00 PM
Records: UNC 25-6; Florida State 20-11
ACC Tournament Results: UNC-Bye, FSU-def. Clemson 67-66
I was probably not the only UNC fan hoping that Al Thornton would miss the second free throw and essentially force overtime just to wear either team out more. Not that UNC should need either team worn out more but every edge helps in tournament play. As we found out yesterday with Maryland, momentum and playing well prior to the beginning of tournament play means absolutely nothing. So let’s put aside for the moment how well UNC played last Sunday against Duke and let’s also put aside whatever might be left hanging out there from “The Foul.” UNC comes into this game needing to capture that momentum and executing according to the talent level on the team. One issue UNC will face with a boatload of youngsters is a matter of nerves being in the ACC Tournament. There is also some expected tightness for UNC which will not be the case for FSU who had a game to loosen up today. The other side of that coin is FSU has to play back-to-back against a team who has exceptional depth.
Al Thornton is really dangerous in this game. He had 25 points and 11 rebounds against Clemson, FSU needs this win to try and secure an NCAA bid and Thornton just might be a little peeved that Jared Dudley was named POY over him. The point is, UNC cannot afford to play around with FSU. I think it is paramount to come out and play top notch early on in the game on both ends. And while I know Roy does not put a lot of stock in the ACC Tournament, in this case it is imperative for #1 seeding in the NCAA Tournament. I also think it has been too long since we won it.
UNC 88 FSU 65