What: ACC Tournament Final
Where: Phillips Arena, Atlanta, GA
When: Sunday, March 11th, 12:00 PM
TV: ESPN and ACC Network
Records: UNC 29-4, 14-2 ACC; FSU 23-9, 12-4 ACC
ACCT Results: UNC-def. MD 85-69, NCSU 69-67; FSU-def. Miami 82-71, Duke 62-59
It has been reported that the number 33 was written on the white board in the UNC locker room since the Tar Heels were drubbed 90-57 by Florida State in Tallhassee. It remains written on the board even now as a reminder of what happened on January 14th. Now, with both UNC and FSU advancing to the ACC title game the opportunity has been afforded for the Heels to do something about that 33.
The question is will they be attempting to do so with or without John Henson. Roy Williams said on Saturday Henson wrist felt much better than it did on Friday and if it were a Final Four game he would probably play. The issue lies in Henson's ability to do basic basketball actions without an excessive level of pain. Prior to the game with NC State, Henson had the wrist taped then tried to do things like pass, grab and catch a basketball. He was too uncomfortable performing those actions so the decision was made to hold him out. Roy indicated a similar procedure would follow for the title game.
At this stage there is plenty of reason to believe Henson will not play. Yes, UNC could really make sure the NCAA selection committee has zero reason to give a #1 seed to Missouri and the Michigan St-Ohio St winner over a UNC team that loses to FSU on Sunday. Quite frankly playing Henson doesn't guarantee a Tar Heel win only improves their chances of it but only if Henson is effective. There is also the matter of Henson going against a physical team and further risk of injury. The eye has to be on the bigger prize but one simple rule remains. If Henson thinks he can play, then he is likely going to play.
Whether Henson plays or not, this Tar Heel team is a very dangerous group coming off a loss or when they are seeking payback. Just ask Duke. Harrison Barnes has been fairly quiet so far in Atlanta and an offensive explosion from him is almost a must have if UNC is going to win. It also would not hurt if FSU could have one of it's patented off nights on the offensive end. Even then the Seminole defense is extremely will make this a tough game for the Heels regardless.
For me I have felt like UNC was going to win the ACC Tournament heading into the event and they would do so facing FSU. Henson's injury has not changed that for me.
UNC 72 FSU 65