Previewing Florida State

The Tar Heels aim to break out of a brief slump against Florida State on Sunday. Tip-off at the Tucker Center is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. and the game will be televised by Fox Sports Net.

North Carolina (10-4, 2-2) vs. Florida State (11-3, 2-2)
Tallahassee, Fla. -- Donald L. Tucker Center (12,100)
Sunday, 6:30 p.m., FSN (Tim Brando, Mike Gminski)

Provided by FSU Sports Info

Season To Date: Florida State, which has a 7-0 record at home this season, enters Sunday's game having won nine of their last 11 games including two of their four ACC games this season. FSU plays host to North Carolina in its second ACC home game of the season after splitting a pair of conference games on the road at Virginia (Jan. 11, 87-82 in overtime) and at Boston College (Jan. 14, 87-90). The Seminoles game against the Tar Heels is their first at home since they defeated Virginia Tech (Jan. 7, 74-68) and only their second since defeating Campbell (Dec. 22, 108-73) prior to the holiday break. Florida State is averaging 88.0 points scored and holds a margin of victory of +25.0 points per game in its seven victories at home this season. The Seminoles have scored at least 74 points in each of its seven home games and scored a season-high 108 in their victory over Campbell.

Thornton Coming Off Big Week: All-ACC candidate Al Thornton, who averaged 29.5 points and 7.5 rebounds as the Seminoles split a pair of ACC road games is this week's ACC Player of the Week. The junior scored a career-high 37 points, hitting on 15-of-18 from the floor, and pulled down six rebounds in Saturday's 90-87 loss at 15th-ranked Boston College. Earlier in the week, the Perry, Ga., native had 22 points and nine rebounds in an 87-82 overtime win at Virginia, marking Florida State's first win in Charlottesville since 1998. Thornton is averaging 16.9 points per game (including 23.0 in four ACC games) and 7.8 rebounds per game.

Hot Shooting: Florida State enters Sunday's game against North Carolina ranked second in the ACC with a .506 field goal shooting percentage. The Seminoles have shot 50 percent or better in seven different games this season and have shot below 45 percent only once in their last nine games. Florida State shot .600 percent (30-of-50) from the floor in its victory over Virginia (Jan. 11, 87-82 in overtime) and shot a season-high .603 from the field (35-of-58) in their victory over Purdue in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge (Nov. 29, 97-57). The Seminoles have shot below 45 percent from the field only twice this season – in victories over Jacksonville (Nov. 19, .412, 78-48 victory) and Virginia Tech (Jan. 7, .429, 74-68 victory).

Hitting the Boards: Led by Al Thornton's career-high 7.8 rebounds per game average, Florida State enters Sunday's game against North Carolina having outrebounded each of its last three opponents and holding a +5.5 rebound margin. The Seminoles have been out-rebounded only three times in the first 14 games of the season (against Florida, Purdue and Clemson) and have outrebounded six of their opponents by 10 or more rebounds.

Big Improvement: Florida State is ranked in the top three in six different ACC statistical categories entering Sunday's game against North Carolina. Maybe the most impressive rankings for the Seminoles are their lofty rankings for scoring offense (80.9 ppg), scoring margin (+15.3 ppg), steals (10.3 spg) and turnover margin (.3.71) – categories in which the Seminoles are ranked third among the 12 ACC teams. Those rankings are in categories in which the Seminoles ranked 10th in the 11-team ACC during the 2004-05 season.

Series History: Carolina leads the all-time series with Florida State, 33-8, including a 23-7 advantage since the Seminoles joined the ACC prior to the 1991-92 season. The Tar Heels have won 14 of the last 17 in the series. Florida State has won two of the last four times Carolina has visited Tallahassee, but UNC is 10-4 against FSU in the Tucker Center (formerly known as the Tallahassee-Leon County Civic Center). The Tar Heels also won two NCAA Tournament games in the arena on the way to the 1995 Final Four.

Projected Starters:
 4 Todd Galloway (5-11, 178, Sr.) – 8.1 ppg, 3.6 apg
 3 Isaiah Swann (6-1, 197, So.) – 9.0 ppg, 3.1 apg
21 Jason Rich (6-3, 185, So.) - 9.9 ppg
12 Al Thornton (6-7, 208, Jr.) – 16.9 ppg, 7.8 rpg
32 Alexander Johnson (6-10, 250, Jr.) - 10.8 ppg, 5.4 rpg

Key Reserves:
20 Andrew Wilson (6-6, 206, Sr.) – 6.4 ppg, 2.1 rpg
25 Diego Romero (6-10, 240, Sr.) – 5.3 ppg, 2.9 rpg
10 Ralph Mims (6-2, 200, So.) – 4.6 ppg
15 Casaan Breeden (6-8, 195, Fr.) – 3.9 ppg, 1.8 rpg
11 Jerel Allen (6-4, 195, Jr.) – 3.9 ppg
41 Uche Echefu (6-9, 220, Fr.) – 2.5 ppg, 1.9 rpg

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Thornton ... Johnson

Swann ...Rich

Galloway ... Wilson

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