Previewing Florida State

Two months after a stunning 33-point Florida State win over North Carolina, the two teams meet against in the ACC Tournament championship game. Sunday's tip-off is scheduled for 1 p.m. and will be televised by ESPN and the ACC Network.

North Carolina (29-4, 14-2) vs. Florida State (23-9, 12-4)
Atlanta, Ga. -- Phillips Arena
Sunday, 1:00
ACC Network & ESPN

Quotables

"He's just a damn good player. He's an outstanding athlete; smart. I think he's the best competitor in our league and he wants to play defense." – Duke head coach Mike Kryzyzewski on Florida State guard Michael Snaer

"We are trying to change the culture at Florida State; get people to take us seriously. Look at us as a basketball school [and] not just give the ACC to Duke and North Carolina every year. We definitely want to play them to prove that we belong at the top of the ACC." – FSU senior forward Bernard James

PREGAME NOTES

Season to Date: Florida State enters Sunday's championship game with a 23-9 (12-4) ACC record. The Seminoles have won 14 of their last 17 games after starting the season with a 9-6 mark.

ACC Tournament Results: After opening the tournament with a quarterfinal victory over Miami on Friday night, the third-seeded Seminoles upset No. 2 seed Duke, 62-59, on Saturday. Florida State coughed up a 10-point first-half lead, but Michael Snaer drilled a 3-pointer with 3:27 remaining to give the Seminoles the lead for good. FSU will play in the ACC Tournament final for just the second time in the program's history.

Balling Out: Michael Snaer built his reputation on defense, but his improved offensive output helped turn around Florida State's season after an ACC season-opening 20-point loss to Clemson. The junior guard hit game-winning 3-pointers at Duke and Virginia Tech, but has become even more consistent as the season has progressed. The Moreno Valley, Calif. native is averaging 18.2 points over his last six games and has connected on 15 of his last 28 3-pointers.


James
Same Old Defense: If consistency is to be admired, then you've got to give ACC Coach of the Year Leonard Hamilton plenty of credit for his ability to churn out dominant defenses year after year. The Seminoles lead the ACC yet again in field goal percentage defense (.380), blocked shots (5.9) and steals (7.7), while also ranking third in 3-point field goal percentage defense (.306)

Man in the Post: North Carolina's John Henson dominated the ACC Defensive Player of the Year voting with 56 out of a possible 62 votes, but second in voting on the ACC's All-Defensive Team was 27-year-old Bernard James. The six-year Air Force veteran is averaging 10.6 points and 8.2 rebounds per game, but his post presence and 71 blocks highlight his list of abilities.

On Fire from Deep: The Seminoles have connected on 48.4 percent of their 3-pointers (30-of-62) in their last four games.

Random Fact of the Day: Florida State is 21-0 when leading at halftime.

Last Meeting: Florida State defeated North Carolina, 90-57, on Jan. 14 at the Tucker Center in Tallahassee. Deividas Dulkys paced the Seminoles with a career-high 32 points on 12-of-14 shooting, including an 8-of-10 effort from long range. Harrison Barnes led UNC with 15 points and Tyler Zeller posted a double-double with 14 points and 14 rebounds.

Series History: UNC leads the overall series with FSU, 42-11. The Tar Heels have won 12 of the last 15 and 23 of the last 29 meetings.

Projected Starters:
3 Luke Loucks (6-5, 201, Sr.) - 6.5 ppg, 4.0 apg
4 Deividas Dulkys (6-5, 196, Sr.) - 6.8 ppg, 2.5 rpg
21 Michael Snaer (6-5, 202, Jr.) - 14.3 ppg, 3.9 rpg
5 Bernard James (6-10, 240, Sr.) - 10.5 ppg, 8.3 rpg, 2.3 bpg
1 Xavier Gibson (6-11, 248, Sr.) - 7.2 ppg, 4.6 rpg

Top Reserves:
30 Ian Miller (6-3, 186, So.) - 11.2 ppg, 2.1 rpg
10 Okaro White (6-8, 204, So.) - 7.7 ppg, 4.3 rpg
12 Jeff Peterson (6-1, 195, Sr.) - 3.4 ppg, 1.9 apg
50 Jon Kreft (7-0, 262, Sr.) - 2.6 ppg, 2.4 rpg
FSU Info
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(Photos by US Presswire)


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