Thursday, March 13, 2008

Jason Rich stars in FSU win

One thing you probably weren’t asking yourself at breakfast this morning is . . . how is anybody in the ACC tournament going to stop Jason Rich?

Although Rich averaged 14.2 points during the regular season, he wasn’t selected for any of the All-ACC teams. But with the ACC tournament opener on the line, Rich made seven field goals in a row in the second half after Florida State’s offense had stalled, propelling his team to a 70-60 win over Wake Forest.

Rich was furious after a foul wasn’t called when L.D. Williams blocked his shot on a drive to the basket. Moments later, Rich started the hot streak that gave him 17 second-half points and a game-high 21.

Florida State advanced to meet top-seeded North Carolina in Friday’s quarterfinals. It’s a tall task, but also an opportunity for the Seminoles to gain national attention. They finished 7-9 in the ACC but have won five of their last six games. Defeating the top-ranked Tar Heels at least would put them in the conversation for an NCAA tournament at-large bid.

Wake Forest, meanwhile, has lost five of its last six and is certain to be headed to the NIT. The only local interest to have a more difficult opening game than the Deacons was referee Jamie Luckie, who’s from Charlotte.

Three times early in the second half, Luckie overruled calls by fellow referee Sean Hull after consulting with Hull. All three times, Luckie appeared correct. But two of those calls went against Wake Forest, so Luckie heard plenty of boos in his hometown arena.

The only good thing is that Luckie is sure to be back for more throughout the course of the week.

– Ken Tysiac