The saying goes “Live by the three. Die by the three.” Well, this weekend FSU added “Win the ACC Championship Game and smack down your haters by the three.”
The ACC tournament has a 2012 champion–and it’s not Duke, and it’s not UNC–It’s the team no one outside of the state of Florida picked to win, Florida State University.
Florida State attacked the UNC defense with a barrage of 3-pointers, going 11-22 from beyond the arc for a whopping 50% from downtown. It’s tough to beat a team that shoots and makes that many trifectas and UNC found out why.
To round out the offensive picture though, FSU also shot an amazing 59% from the field. In comparison, UNC went 39% from the field and a paltry 25% from 3-point range. Looking at these numbers alone, it’s amazing UNC was even in the game.
Yet, the fact the Tar Heels fought the whole way is a testament to their hard-nosed approach this year. They didn’t make the game close by hitting shots. They made it close by rebounding (Zeller had 12), steals (McAdoo had four), and simply grabbing every loose ball on the court. The only problem was after UNC got possession they couldn’t convert those possessions into points; something FSU managed to do with alarming efficiency.
FSU charged out of the gates and built a nine point lead by half. They were up by as much as 16 throughout the game and left UNC in the unfamiliar position of playing catch-up throughout. UNC came into the game #4 in the nation and were lead by such game changing talents as Harrison Barnes, Tyler Zeller, and Kendall Marshall. Yet, to FSU’s credit, they played their style of ball throughout with Luke Loucks distributing the ball with ease to the tune of 13 assists and six rebounds. Who was he distributing to? His favorite target this year, junior guard Michael Snaer, who went for a game high 18 points while shooting 54% from the field.
Even with FSU’s impressive shooting throughout, UNC had a chance to tie with just two seconds left on the clock, as P.J. Hairston came up long on his 3-point attempt
As Louisville experienced earlier in the week while winning the Big East Tournament, getting hot in March is a massive lift to both your team and your potential Big Dance ranking. With FSU coming into the ACC Tournament at #17 in the nation, and then knocking off Duke and UNC on their way to an ACC tournament Championship, that play will definitely push the team more than a couple slots up in the rankings and bodes well for Seminole hopes of a Final Four run.
Photo Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS