Quick Hits: FSU captures ACC title
That was a treat.
The Florida State Seminoles are the ACC Tournament champions and they earned that right in the best way possible: knocking off the conference’s premier team, the North Carolina Tar Heels. Leonard Hamilton’s first ACC title comes in an 85-82 win.
Selection Sunday should be very kind to both of these teams, but that is all in the not-too-distant future. Seeing the faces of the Florida State seniors, ones that have fallen short so many teams despite such defensive prowess, is something to see.
Luke Loucks, after celebrating with his teammates just stood there staring into the stands with his hands on his head—like he couldn’t believe it.
Perhaps this whole team is starting to believe.
Magic is in the air: This was spectacular. The ACC Tournament, for the first time in recent memory, lived up to the drama that Championship Week proposes. Florida State and North Carolina both made their respective runs at different junctures of this game, with the Seminoles building a comfortable lead only to watch it slip away at the hands of the Tar Heels’ great shooting. Yesterday was spectacular drama, and this was the encore everyone in Phillips Arena was hoping for.
The Tar Heels will likely still grab the No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament, but both of these teams can make some serious noise in the Big Dance. There’s so much to love about this Florida State defense, its athleticism and its unyielding ability to come up with the big shots when it matters.
Florida State must like seeing a sea of blue when pulling up for jump shots, especially Deividas Dulkys. The team shot 58.9 percent from the field against the Tar Heels. That’s ridiculous, especially considering that this is a team that is not considered to be a dominant offensive team. Dulkys hit four 3-pointers by himself. He now has 12 3-pointers against North Carolina this season, and 18 against all other ACC opponents combined.
It was even more appropriate that Dulkys, perhaps the Tar Heels’ kryptonite this season, grabbed the winning defensive rebound for the Seminoles and hit the subsequent free throws to ice the game. It was a nice storybook finish to ACC play for him.
If this wing-dominant offensive system can get into a rhythm this tournament, no No. 1 or No. 2 seed will want to see them in their bracket.
This debate is over: Michael Snaer is the best two-guard in the Atlantic Coast Conference. Austin Rivers has incredible potential at the next level, but perhaps no other guard in the conference does more on both ends of the court. Snaer hounded the Tar Heels’ star point guard Kendall Marshall in his own personal full-court press, much like he did against Duke and Miami.
Also, much like Rivers, not many at this level can check him due to his athleticism and outside shooting. He finished with 18 points and two assists, and carried the Seminoles’ with 15 first-half points as they built up a nine-point lead. All-Tournament lock.
This team has its go-to guy in the NCAA Tournament.
If this is happening, this should be interesting: Is P.J. Hairston alive and well? It sure looked like it on Sunday afternoon as the freshman guard put together his best game of his college career when his team desperately needed production off the bench. Hairston finished with 13 points, knocking in three 3-pointers to keep the Florida State lead at a manageable distance.
If North Carolina can get another outside shooting threat off the bench, it will create much more space for Tyler Zeller and their frontcourt in the Big Dance.
My All-Tourney Team: Without going into this too much, my All-ACC Tournament team: Kendall Marshall, Austin Rivers, Michael Snaer, C.J. Leslie and Tyler Zeller. These guys made huge impacts throughout the tourney and led their respective teams to at least one win.
On the actual team, Florida State’s Luke Loucks replaced Rivers and I have no problem with the selection. Loucks is a senior who has such a calming effect on this often frantic Seminole team. Well done, old man.