ACC tournament championship preview
ACC Tournament Championship
Florida State (23-9) vs. North Carolina (29-4)
When: 1 p.m.
Where: Atlanta, Philips Arena (19,520)
Fast break: The number 33 stands out for both teams. It was the margin by which FSU rocked Carolina on January 14 in a game that changed the Seminoles’ season. Their fans jumped back on the bandwagon, the nation’s pollsters began voting for them each week, and they built their image by humiliating the Tar Heels that afternoon in Tallahassee. UNC, on the other hand, has used the number as fuel. It’s remained on the board in the team’s locker room since their first practice after that debacle, and the players have thought about it almost every day since. Now the Tar Heels will get a chance to exorcise that demon just like they did a week ago in Cameron Indoor Stadium when they blew out Duke, gaining a measure of revenge after losing at home to the Blue Devils on a buzzer beater. But UNC likely must do so without John Henson, the ACC’s Defensive Player of the Year, who injured his wrist Friday. Carolina got into a heap of foul trouble Saturday versus N.C. State and managed to escape. A similar situation will prove costly against FSU. The Noles must hit perimeter shots like it did in the first meeting. Deividas Dulkys was 8-for-10 from 3-point range that day, but has gone just 16-for-47 (34 percent) since.
Forecast: UNC, 68-64.
Andrew Jones’ record: 212-51