USA TODAY Sports
UNC opens ACC Tournament play with a third meeting against Florida State.
ACC Tournament Quarterfinals
#3 North Carolina(22-9, 12-6 ACC) vs Florida State(18-14, 9-9 ACC)
Results: UNC-First game, FSU def. Clemson 72-68
ACC Tournament play is always a odd duck for UNC mainly because Roy Williams has a light regard for the event compared to the NCAA Tournament. Then again, most cases, the ACC Tournament is largely inconsequential for whatever it is UNC is looking to do next. At this stage of the season, the Tar Heels' seeding is usually in a good place and there are fatigue and injury concerns with the latter being an issue in 2012 with John Henson's wrist. Which basically brings us to the pertinent question: Which UNC team will show up?
The Tar Heels could stand to enhance the NCAA Tournament resume a little more for seeding purposes and a couple of wins would certainly do that. And losing to FSU today could give the impression of a team that is stumbling to the finish line resulting in further damage to the overall seeding. At minimum, the ACC Quarterfinal game against FSU, is a "take care of business" kind of situation, especially given UNC dominated the Seminoles almost two weeks ago in Chapel Hill.
FSU does present some size issues and rebounding will be tough. There are also concerns that the Seminoles could fine their three point shooting touch if the Heels are not paying attention to detail on defense. FSU was 11-22 in Tallahassee versus UNC but 4-18 in the return game in Chapel Hill. Still, they are capable and in light of what UNC is giving up on the interior the last thing they need is to allow FSU to rain threes all game long.
On UNC's side, there is some talk about P.J. Hairston and him playing this game in his hometown of Greensboro. Whether that means he steps up and has a monster tournament or is a little too wound up is anyone's guess. Hairston is certainly as capable as anyone left on the remaining eight teams to play out of his mind and have a big weekend. However the play of Marcus Paige, who had two straight rough outings, is probably a much bigger deal if only from a confidence standpoint. There is also the question of James Michael McAdoo's back which he has had six days to rest and treat. On March 3rd, McAdoo torched FSU on 10-15 shooting so in many respect this is a matchup he likes assuming he is healthy.
UNC 82 FSU 69