Previewing Florida State

North Carolina opens ACC Tournament play on Friday night against Florida State. The Seminoles defeated Clemson in the first round. Tip-off at the Greensboro Coliseum will be at approximately 9:30 p.m. and will be televised by ESPN2 and the ACC Network.

North Carolina (22-9, 12-6) vs. Florida State (18-14, 9-9)
Greensboro, N.C. -- Greensboro Coliseum
Friday, 9:30 p.m.
ESPN2 (Dan Shulman, Sean Farnham)
ACCN (Tim Brando, Cory Alexander)


"We're going to play the way we always play; play within ourselves and if you have an opportunity to run, you run, if it's not there, half court offense. That's the way we always play, we're not going to change. North Carolina is not going to change; they're who they are. They have a system that they are comfortable with. We are Florida State and we run when we have an opportunity and try to execute if we don't have a break, run the offense. Play good defense and take care of the ball." – Florida State head coach Leonard Hamilton


Season to Date: No. 6 seed Florida State enters Friday night's contest with an 18-14 (9-9 ACC) record. The Seminoles had lost nine of 14 games before closing the regular season with solid wins over Virginia and N.C. State and opening the postseason with its win over Clemson on Thursday. Hamilton's squad ranks No. 79 in the RPI, which serves as clear indication FSU will have to win the ACC Tournament to earn a spot in the NCAA Tournament.

ACC Tournament Results: Junior forward Okaro White scored a career-high 24 points to lead FSU past Clemson, 73-69, in opening round action. The Tigers rallied from a 14-point deficit with three minutes left to pull within two points with 12.1 seconds remaining, thanks in large part to a comedy of errors by the Seminoles. FSU shot 48.9 percent while holding Clemson to 41.2 percent, including a 36.4 effort in the second half. The Seminoles scored 15 points off 11 Clemson turnovers.

No Scaring Snaer: Michael Snaer earned third-team All-ACC honors on Monday, but his lasting legacy in the league will not be back-to-back all-conference recognition. It will undoubtedly be his status as one of the ACC's most clutch players of all time. Snaer's lay-up against Virginia with 4.4 seconds left on Mar. 7 increased his total of game-winning shots in the final 5.0 seconds to six over the past two seasons. All six came against ACC opponents. And while the senior guard wasn't forced to make a buzzer-beater against Clemson on Thursday, he did seal the victory by knocking down all four of his free throw attempts in the final 22.4 seconds.

Shannon Returns: It appeared as though junior forward Terrance Shannon was ready to make his return from a neck strain the last time these two programs met less than two weeks ago, but the 6-foot-8 forward was limited to three minutes against UNC and sat out FSU's final two games of the regular season. Shannon reappeared on Thursday and delivered a much-needed performance in the post, scoring 12 points on 4-of-8 shooting and pulling down three offensive rebounds in 19 minutes.

Solid at the Stripe: Florida State led the league in free throw percentage during ACC play with a 74.3 mark. The Seminoles replicated that season-long effort in the first round, knocking down 75 percent (24-of-32) of their free throws. FSU is 6-1 this year when making 20 or more free throws.

Best Stat by a SID: From FSU's Pre-ACCT game notes, provided without commentary: "Florida State is undefeated, 17-0, when it outscores its opponents."

Random Fact of the Day: Florida State is 9-0 this season in games decided by four points or less.

Last Meeting: The Tar Heels defeated the Seminoles, 79-58, on Mar. 3 in Chapel Hill. James Michael McAdoo led all scorers with 21 points and Reggie Bullock added a double-double with 20 points and 10 rebounds. UNC shot 55.4 percent while FSU to 40.0 percent.

Series History: North Carolina leads the overall series with Florida State, 44-12. The Tar Heels have won 14 of the last 18 meetings and also hold a 4-2 edge in the ACC Tournament, although the Seminoles upset the boys in blue for the tournament title last season.

Projected Starters:
1 Devon Bookert (6-3, 185, Fr.) - 6.3 ppg, 2.5 apg
25 Aaron Thomas (6-5, 195, Fr.) - 6.0 ppg, 2.3 rpg
21 Michael Snaer (6-5, 202, Sr.) - 14.5 ppg, 4.4 rpg
10 Okaro White (6-8, 204, Jr.) - 12.2 ppg, 6.1 rpg
50 Michael Ojo (7-1, 290, Fr.) - 0.8 ppg, 1.1 rpg

Top Reserves:
2 Terrance Shannon (6-8, 240, Jr.) - 8.2 ppg, 5.9 rpg
31 Terry Whisnant (6-3, 185, So.) - 5.6 ppg, 1.1 rpg
30 Ian Miller (6-3, 186, Jr.) - 5.7 ppg, 2.0 apg
11 Kiel Turpin (7-0, 240, Jr.) - 5.4 ppg, 2.9 rpg
5 Montay Brandon (6-7, 216, Fr.) - 3.6 ppg, 1.7 rpg
15 Boris Bojanovsky (7-3, 240, Fr.) - 3.0 ppg, 2.0 rpg

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(Photos by USA Today Sports)

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