Previewing Florida State

The Tar Heels begin their quest for back-to-back ACC Tournament titles on Friday at noon against Florida State. The game will be televised from the Charlotte Bobcats Arena by Raycom and ESPN2.

North Carolina (29-2, 14-2) vs. Florida State (19-13, 7-9)
Charlotte, N.C. - Bobcats Arena


"We've got a tremendous amount of respect for the University of North Carolina. They're the second-winningest program in the history of college basketball. That's who they are. So this represents an opportunity for us and we need to be as prepared as possible to go out and take advantage of it. We know that we have to be at our very, very best to be successful, and that's all we can concern ourselves with." – FSU head coach Leonard Hamilton

"They're No. 1 in the country -- I think that speaks volumes in itself. We played them tight down at our place... They're a team that goes on runs. So I think that if you're not ready to compete for 40 minutes against them, then you're going to come up short." -- FSU guard Jason Rich


Season to Date: Florida State enters Friday's ACC Tournament quarterfinal with a 19-13 overall record. The ninth-seeded Seminoles knocked off No. 8 seed Wake Forest, 70-60, in opening round play on Thursday. FSU has now won five of its last six games, with its only loss coming at the hands of North Carolina.

First Round Standout: Senior guard Jason Rich connected on seven of his 14 field goal attempts in the second half en route to a 21-point performance against the Demon Deacons. That hot streak doesn't bode well for UNC – Rich scored 22 points on 10-of-16 shooting in the Feb. 3 loss to North Carolina in Tallahassee, and added 27 points on 9-of-17 shooting in last week's loss to the Tar Heels.

Season Accolades: Toney Douglas earned All-ACC Third-Team and All-ACC Defensive team honors after leading the ACC in steals (career-high 2.77 spg) and finishing the season ranked ninth in the league in scoring (16.1 ppg). Unfortunately for the Seminoles, the junior guard has not faired as well against the Tar Heels as his counterpart in the backcourt – in two games against North Carolina this season, Douglas connected on just six of 32 field goal attempts for 23 total points, including a paltry 2-of-18 from 3-point range.

Quick Facts: Florida State has not reached the finals of the ACC Tournament since entering the league for the 1991-92 season. The Seminoles have never won more than one ACC Tournament game in a season.

Head-to-Head Season Results:
GAME 1 – Tyler Hansbrough recorded 22 points and 21 rebounds and Danny Green finished with 19 points and four three-pointers as North Carolina won at Florida State in overtime (despite losing Ty Lawson to injury early), 84-73, on Sunday Feb. 3, 2008, in the Donald L. Tucker Center in Tallahassee. <
GAME 2 – North Carolina defeated Florida State, 90-77, on Senior Night in Chapel Hill on Mar. 4, 2008. Tyler Hansbrough led the Tar Heels with 20 points and nine rebounds, while Danny Green (12), Marcus Ginyard (13) and Ty Lawson (10) also scored in double figures.

Series History: North Carolina leads the series with the Florida State, 38-8, including a 28-7 advantage since the Seminoles joined the ACC. The Tar Heels are 3-0 against FSU in the conference tournament.

Projected Starters:
10 Ralph Mims (6-3, 205, Sr.) – 11.4 ppg, 4.4 rpg
23 Toney Douglas (6-1, 200, Jr.) – 15.8 ppg, 2.8 apg, 2.8 spg
25 Jason Rich (6-3, 211, Sr.) - 14.2 ppg, 4.4 rpg
42 Ryan Reid (6-8, 237, So.) - 5.0 ppg, 4.8 rpg
41 Uche Echefu (6-9, 225, Jr.) – 10.0 ppg, 7.1 rpg

Key Reserves:
21 Julian Vaughn (6-10, 239, Fr.) – 2.9 ppg, 2.5 rpg
 2 Jordan DeMercy (6-7, 204, Fr.) – 1.4 ppg, 1.3 rpg
33 Matt Zitani (6-7, 230, Sr.) – 1.6 ppg, 1.3 rpg

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