Saturday, March 10, 2012

ACC Tournament elevator

UP: A North Carolina-Florida State rematch. It’s not often that a potential ACC tournament championship game between UNC and Duke would seem like the less appealing of potential championship games. But that was the case on Saturday after the Tar Heels’ 69-67 victory against N.C. State in the ACC tournament semifinals. UNC and Florida State will play today for the second time this season and we all remember what happened the first time, when FSU handed the Heels an embarrassing 90-57 defeat that was the most lopsided defeat of the Roy Williams’ time at UNC.

UP: Justin Watts: The UNC senior has been a forgotten, unheralded player throughout his senior season. But all along, his teammates have spoken about how invaluable Watts has been behind the scenes. On Saturday, he proved his worth on the court, too. He did everything from playing point guard for the Heels, to defending N.C. State’s C.J. Leslie. And Watts’ late steal when the Pack had a chance to tie the game was among UNC’s most important plays.

UP: Florida State’s defense. During their 62-59 victory against Duke in the second ACC tournament semifinal, the Seminoles held the Blue Devils to 37.3 percent shooting. Duke’s 59 points were a season low, and the Blue Devils also committed 16 turnovers. Florida State turned those into 19 points.

DOWN: The officiating in UNC’s victory against N.C. State. Wolfpack coach Mark Gottfried declined to comment about the officiating after the game, so we’ll do it for him: It was inconsistent, at best. On both ends. The officials often wavered on block/charge calls, and seemed to call them differently throughout the game - or sometimes not call them at all. In some moments, they called the game tightly and in other moments they let both teams play physically. Consistency lacked.

DOWN: N.C. State’s finish. As much as Wolfpack fans might want to gripe about the refs, N.C. State had chances in the final moment to beat UNC, but the Wolfpack didn’t make winning plays. Instead they turned it over twice in the final minute with opportunities to either take the lead or tie the game.
Number of the day: 15. That’s how many times the lead changed before UNC prevailed with a 69-67 victory against N.C. State. The ACC tournament in recent years has been criticized for not being what it once was, and the UNC-State game provided a glimpse into the past. Emotions boiled while both teams played at a high level. The crowd at Philips Arena rose to its feet to watch the final minute or so – and with good reason.

DOWN: Statistical line of the day: During a low scoring semifinal Saturday, North Carolina’s Tyler Zeller stood out – even amid foul trouble. In 32 minutes against N.C. State, Zeller scored 23 points and had nine rebounds. Just another day for the ACC’s Player of the Year.

They said it: “We can’t think about that game and try to use that to win or we’re going to get beat. We can’t think it’s going to be easy or that we’re going to beat them by 30. It’s North Carolina. It’s not going to be easy. That’s what it’s going to come down to – who’s the toughest? Who’s the most focused?” –Florida State senior guard Michael Snaer on playing UNC for the ACC championship after the Seminoles’ 33-point victory against UNC on Jan. 14.

-Andrew Carter


Anonymous said...

The Down: Your intimation regarding Zeller's performance is unusual, unless you are suggesting that none of the other players' performance was noteworthy.

If so, I can live with that.

Anonymous said...

Go FSU! From an NC State alumni and avid basketball fan. Hope KH isn't your referee ;-)

Anonymous said...

And yet ANOTHER whiney referee reference from a Pack fan.... Grow up man and go back and really look at those plays. The refs were bad all around but they got those two right...

Anonymous said...

FSU > UNC...neutral court, no doubt about it. That's why the 'Noles are ACC Champs!

price per head service said...

pretty nice summary of the ups and downs of UNC team and I liked the way you wrote it because it not a partial point of view