FSU Basketball: 3 reasons Noles can beat Duke in ACC Tournament


Coby White had a chance to win it for North Carolina at the buzzer, but his contested jumper banged off the rim and Nassir Little's follow up attempt was off the mark.

After Kentucky's loss to Tennessee on Saturday in the semifinals of the SEC tournament, Lunardi updated his projections Saturday evening, and moved UNC back up to a No. 1 seed.

The Seminoles wiped out the Virginia Cavaliers - a near mortal lock for a top-seed in the NCAA Tournament - while Duke outlasted North Carolina in another Tobacco Road rivalry instant classic.

"These two guys have an fantastic will to win", Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said of Williamson and Barrett, "and it makes us coaches look a lot better". The Cavaliers had their nine-game winning streak snapped with their first loss to a team other than Duke.

In a conference call Wednesday, Lunardi said if Duke beat UNC, "then that nearly counteracts the two losses which occurred largely without him".

An incredible night of tournament games has brought us to the final day before Selection Sunday. Conference affiliation aside, each of those teams are simply one of the four best teams in the country and deserve a 1 seed.

Meanwhile, Tennessee topped Kentucky in a SEC semifinal. Gonzaga lost the West Coast Conference title game to St. Mary's.

Who the committee will select remains unclear.

The weakness of both teams is 3P shooting, but Duke has a distinct advantage in defending the three-pointer.

The Virginia Cavaliers react against the Florida State Seminoles
The Virginia Cavaliers react against the Florida State Seminoles

"When the shot left my hand, I could have swore it went down", Johnson said. "We try to be consistent in our preparation and not try to get to up for the teams that might have more recognition than us and I think that's what we've been doing", he said.

Friday's victory offered an answer of sorts, but not one Williams or the rest of the Tar Heels were ready to affirm with any sense of certainty.

Virginia shot 41.5 percent for the game, while Florida State shot 56.5 percent.

The argument against North Carolina, and for Gonzaga is that while the Tar Heels beat the Zags 103-90 at home on December 15, the Zags only lost three games all season.

Early on, both Virginia and Florida State exchanged narrow leads in the first few minutes of the game.

The argument for Kentucky is the Wildcats won head-to-head against the Tar Heels 80-72 at a neutral site on December 22. The Wildcats will play Alabama Friday night in the quarterfinals of the SEC Tournament.

Yes, the Blue Devils' freshman star now has his delayed big moment against North Carolina. Tennessee's strength of schedule was 56th, Kentucky was 12th and Gonzaga was 46th.

U.Va., which shot 40 percent from the floor in the second half, was never able to get into a rhythm, making just 5 of 24 shots from 3-point range for the game. "But I'm not going to sit here and say, 'Oh my God, I hope we can play them again.' I'm not starting any extra drama".