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North Carolina v Florida State

by Sharon Thorsland

Top seed North Carolina put on a show in their 92-67 win over Florida State Thursday in

the ACC Quarterfinals. The offense was clicking and the defense stifled the Seminoles,

prompting coach Hubert Davis to call it one of their most complete games of the season.

The win propelled the Tar Heesls to a semi-final match up against a tough Pitt team that

knocked off Wake Forest 81-69. Tip-off is set for 7:00 tonight on WBT.

These teams faced off earlier this season in Pittsburgh, a 13-point UNC victory. But the

Panthers (22-10, 12-8 ACC) have won five of the last seven match-ups against the Tar Heels,

so no one expects an easy out in this one. Pitt is a very physical team and boasts two of the

top players in the ACC in Blake Hinson and Ishmael Leggett. Hinson was named first-team

All-ACC and is averaging nearly 19 points a game, and Leggett just scored 30 points

against Wake. The Heels did a good job of limiting the pair in their earlier matchup though,

holding them to a combined 15 points.

Pitt is averaging just under 76 points a game, but they are a very good defensive team,

allowing just 67.5 points a contest. They’re particularly good against the three, ranking 26th

in the nation in 3-point defense. That could be a key in this game – UNC’s Cormac Ryan has

been hot from behind the arc recently, he had eight 3’s against Duke on Saturday night. The

Heels will need Ryan or somebody else to get hot from three and hit some big shots.

UNC will once again look to RJ Davis to carry them. The ACC Player of the Year had 18

points against FSU and makes this team go. Armando Bacot is also playing extremely well

right now, and has historically played well against Pitt, averaging over 15 points and 10

rebounds in six games against the Panthers.

This should be a great matchup as both teams are playing good basketball right now. Pitt is

a very physical team but the Tar Heels matched that earlier this season. And when they’re

playing like they did against FSU on Thursday, not many teams can beat them. Look for

UNC to march on to the championship game. Go Tar Heels!