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#1 UNC vs #9 Florida State

What: ACC Tournament Quarterfinals
Where: Bobcats Arena, Charlotte, NC
When: Friday, March 14th, Noon
Records: UNC 29-2, 14-2 ACC; FSU 19-13, 8-9 ACC

Happy ACC Tournament Friday!

There is something right about the world when we get to ACC Tournament Friday and UNC is playing the noon game as the #1 seed. My favorite memory of this is in 1993 and our teacher put the game on the TV we had mounted in the classroom even though it was a no-no. UNC pummeled Maryland that day. In years prior to that when the TVs were not available(except for one in the commons area) the one guy in the room with the walkman would pass on scoring information to everyone else. With the advent of Blackberries and cell phones keeping track of scores is far easier for the younguns than it was in my day.

Anyway, Roy's general feelings about the ACC Tournament as it compares to the NCAA Tournament not withstanding, UNC needs these games. Ty Lawson will start for the first time since February 3rd and the Heels could really use a few contests under this type of circumstances to mesh on offense and continue the stellar defense from Saturday night. The greatest worry I have playing FSU is their tendency to be physical.

Not that UNC fears FSU but the fact Ryan Reid nearly broke Lawson's ankle last month gives you a bit of pause. And given how much contact we will see from the FSU interior players, the manner in which this game is called by the referees will be a crucial factor in this game. The other concern is how well the Tar Heel perimeter players will shoot the ball since a tournament setting can often make guys press a little more and result plenty of missed shots. All that being said, I think the Heels will be motivated to come out and attack the Seminoles in every facet of the game. Some rust brought on by the shift in routine might be evident early but the tempo UNC plays and the depth which is getting close to normal again will put the Heels in a better position than FSU as the game wears on.

Besides the need to play well in these games to get the on court chemistry working, UNC would be best served by an assignment to the East Regional as the #1 seed. Roy says he does not worry about these things but UNC being 21-1 in the state of North Carolina during NCAA Tournament games means being in Raleigh and Charlotte is almost a lock based on the historical evidence. In the end the best case scenario is a blowout win for the Heels affording them a chance to rest the starters ahead of the weekend.

UNC 94 FSU 74