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COLLEGE BASKETBALL: JAN 20 North Carolina at Boston College

by Sharon Thorsland

A hot North Carolina team heads to Tallahassee on Saturday to take on Florida State. The 3rd ranked Tar Heels are riding a nine game win streak and are playing as well as any team in the country. The Heels are coming off an impressive win over Wake Forest that improved them to 16-3 on the season and 8-0 in the ACC. Florida State got off to a slow start this season but have won eight of their last 10 games to improve to 12-7 overall and are now second in the conference with a 6-2 record. Tip-off is set for 2:00 on WBT.

VCU transfer Jamir Watkins is the star of this Seminole team. He had 17 points and 8 rebounds in the first matchup against UNC, and just dropped 27 points against Syracuse this week. He currently leads the team in points, assists, rebounds and steals. Guard Darin Green, Jr. is the Seminole’s top threat from behind the arc, he’s shooting nearly 40 percent from behind the arc and averages 12 points a game.28.5 percent from three. The good news is UNC is number one in the ACC holding opponents to just 28.5 percent from beyond the arc. Georgetown transfer Primo Spears has been FSU’s biggest producer off the bench averaging over 11 points a contest, but no one else in the lineup is averaging more than eight points a game. Sophomore big men Cam Corhen and Baba Miller will likely split time against Armando Bacot, who leads the ACC in rebounding but is expecting a challenge from the Seminoles. “The way they brought it to us when we played them early on this season, they really punched us in the mouth,” said Bacot. “Going into Florida State we know we have to play with a sense of urgency because they’re a talented team, athletic, and the way they switch it is disruptive. All of the length that they have is crazy.”

Rebounding could be the difference in this game, the Tar Heels lead the ACC at over 40 a game, while FSU is dead last in the league. And UNC’s defense has been outstanding of late, the Heels haven’t allowed more than 70 points since mid-December. The Seminoles have also been strong defensively, but good luck slowing down RJ Davis. The UNC guard has been on fire, averaging 21 points a game and just notched a career high 36 points against Wake this week.

This should be a great game. In spite of their win streak, there is no doubt UNC is not overlooking the Seminoles. They know how dangerous this team can be – the Tar Heels beat the ‘Noles back in December and their last time in Tallahassee, but before that they had lost three straight at the Tucker Center. UNC should be locked in and ready. Go Tar Heels!