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March 15, 2013It's that time again, as North Carolina will be heading to Greensboro for 60th anniversary of the annual ACC Tournament.
Last year, North Carolina (22-9, 12-6) made it to the finals against Florida State, eventually losing at the end 85-82 behind Michael Snaer, who scored 18 points for the Seminoles.
UNC made their 31st appearance in the ACC final a year ago, and have an all-time record 88-41 in tournament play.
This year, North Carolina is seeded No. 3 and will play their first game Friday night at 9:30pm eastern time against those same Seminoles.
When North Carolina has been a No. 3 seed in the past, UNC holds an 11-7 record.
Roy Williams will be looking for his third overall ACC Tournament championship and his first since he won back to back championships in 2007 and 2008.
The Tar Heels took care of business during the regular season, winning both games against FSU. They first beat the Seminoles in Tallahassee 78-72 in January, and then completely dismantled FSU in Chapel Hill 79-58 just a few weeks ago.
Against the Seminoles on March 3, the Tar Heels had one of their most complete games during their recent six game win streak.
The Tar Heels shot 55 percent from the floor, including 60 percent from behind the arc, in the 79-58 triumph.
James Michael McAdoo led the charge in the first half, scoring 17 of his 21 points that allowed North Carolina to have a 19 point halftime lead.
Reggie Bullock had a double-double in that game (20 points and 10 rebounds), one of a few that he averaged during the winning streak.
Now, UNC will look to get back on track in their own backyard amidst what should be a pro-Tar Heel crowd.
While FSU has the benefit of a recent game---last night's win over Clemson in the opening round---Carolina should undoubtedly have a favorable crowd pulling for them.
If the Tar Heels win Friday night, they will face the winner of Duke and Maryland, who precede them in action Friday night at 7:00 pm.
Greensboro has been a place that has treated the Tar Heels well over the years, as they hold a 109-27 all-time record in the Greensboro Coliseum, including a 34-15 record in the ACC Tournament.
The Tar Heels know that they will have to take it one game at a time, knowing that there will be many obstacles the will come their way.
Should UNC beat the 'Noles and either Duke or Maryland on Saturday, they will face either Miami or N.C. State in Sunday's finals. The Hurricanes and Wolfpack each won quarterfinal games Friday afternoon.
Clemson and Florida State had played twice already during the season, with both games coming down to the wire, when they met in Thursday's nightcap in Greensboro.
Clemson came out of the gate and took control early, leading for the whole first half. The Tigers led by as many as 10 points in the first half, but Florida State was able to cut it to five points before the end of the half, 35-30.
In the second half Florida State started to force their will on the Tigers with the defense everyone has known the Seminoles for in the past. With about three minutes left in the second half, Florida State had a 14 point lead and had only allowed the Tigers to score 16 points total in the second half.
Even though Clemson made a run at it at the end, the Seminoles were able to hold off as Snaer hit two key free throws to secure the 73-69 win.
The Seminoles were led by Okaro White, who was 8 of 11 from the field, scoring 24 points.
Overall, Florida State had four players in double figures (Okaro White (24), Michael Snaer (10), Devon Bookert (12), and Terrance Shannon (12)).
Between them, that quartet scored 43 points in the second half while shooting almost 49 percent from the floor overall for the 'Noles.
North Carolina will have to get back hitting its outside shots from behind the arc, while also showing improvement defensively from the Duke loss, in order to get past Florida State and potentially a rematch with the Blue Devils Saturday afternoon in the semifinals.