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North Carolina v Duke

by Sharon Thorsland

Fresh off its ACC regular season title, 4th-ranked North Carolina begins its quest for an

ACC Tournament championship, taking on Florida State today. This is the third time

these teams will meet this season, the Tar Heels won the first two but the Seminoles played

them tough both times. This time the Heels are well-rested having earned a double bye,

while the Seminoles opened play on Wednesday in the second round, pulling away from

Virginia Tech to advance.

Florida State was an up and down team this season, the Seminoles finished 10-10 in the

conference. But they’ve got an excellent player in Jamir Watkins, who had 34 points against

the Hokies on Wednesday. The VCU transfer has been the star of this Seminole team all

season long, leading the team in points, assists, rebounds and steals. Guard Darin Green, Jr.

is the Seminole’s top 3-point shooter but as a team they’ve struggled from behind the arc,

and went just 3-for-13 against the Hokies. Cam Corhen and Baba Miller are the twin towers

inside at 6’10 and 6’11, respectively. They did a good job limiting Armando Bacot in the last

matchup, he managed just five points and four rebounds. But RJ Davis is the guy that

makes this UNC team go – the ACC Player of the Year is averaging over 21 points per

game. And freshman guard Elliot Cadeau played one of his best games of the season at

Florida State, with 16 points and six assists. He and the Tar Heels will need to take care of

the basketball – they had 17 turnovers in Tallahassee, and the Seminoles just had 10 steals

against the Hokies.

The last time the ACC Tournament was in the nation’s capital it was UNC coming away

with the trophy. That was also the last time the Tar Heels won the tourney, so this is no

doubt a motivated bunch. FSU will be a tough out – it’s hard hard to beat the same team

three times in the same season. But UNC has won four straight against the Seminoles and

should be locked in and ready to make it five in a row. Go Tar Heels!