#1 North Carolina (28-3) vs. #4 Florida State (24-8)
Atlanta, Ga. - Georgia Dome (36,000)
“Anytime you lose a player, for most teams, it affects you in an adverse way. Carolina has been one of the few teams that is able to lose a player and continue to keep winning. They have a great system, they have great players. Whether he plays or doesn’t play, we know we are playing a team that is very capable of sending you home.” – Florida State head coach Leonard Hamilton on North Carolina possibly not playing with Ty Lawson
“We are just trying to take it game by game. We are not trying to look ahead. We are not trying to look past anybody. We are just taking it one game at a time. We are a good team, too, and it’s an opportunity to play again. They are a real good basketball team and you can’t let up on them. We are just going to go out and take on the challenge.” – FSU forward Ryan Reid on facing North Carolina
Season to Date: Florida State enters Saturday’s ACC semifinal with a 24-8 (10-6 ACC regular season) record. The Seminoles needed a Derwin Kitchen three-point play with 7.7 seconds remaining to lift them past No. 12 seed Georgia Tech on Friday, advancing to the ACC semifinals for the first time since 1992. Leonard Hamilton’s squad has won eight of its last 11 contests, with two of those losses coming on the road at No. 8 Wake Forest and No. 9 Duke.
First Round Standout: As expected, ACC Defensive Player of the Year and ACC Player of the Year runner-up Toney Douglas paced the Seminoles on Friday, scoring 25 points on 11-of-16 shooting. But while the points are crucial, the senior guard’s stat line was lacking in other key areas – one rebound and one assist against three turnovers. Douglas entered the weekend averaging 20.8 points, 4.1 rebounds and 1.9 steals per game.
Emerging Talent: Solomon Alabi is averaging a respectable 8.2 points and 5.3 rebounds per game on the season, but the freshman center has picked up his play of late, contributing 11 points and 6.4 points per game over his last five. Alabi scored 14 points and grabbed six rebounds against Georgia Tech on Friday, as well as adding two blocks to lift his season total to 69.
Coaching Accolades: Hamilton was tabbed the ACC Coach of the Year earlier this week, marking the third time in his career that’s he has earned such distinction. He was named the Big East Coach of the Year during his tenure at Miami in 1995 and 1999. Hamilton is the first coach to earn that award in two of the nation’s top conferences.
Head-to-Head Season Results: Ty Lawson needed just 3.2 seconds to race down the court and connect on a running 3-pointer as time expired for North Carolina to escape Tallahassee with an 80-77 victory on Jan. 28, 2009. Lawson led UNC with 21 points and nine rebounds, while Danny Green added 20 points, seven rebounds and six steals. The Tar Heels won despite shooting 38.1 percent (24-of-63) from the floor and committing 21 turnovers, while allowing the Seminoles to connect on 46.7 percent.
Series History: North Carolina leads the all-time series, 40-8, including having won the last 10 games between these two programs. The Tar Heels hold a 4-0 record against the Seminoles in the ACC Tournament.
23 Toney Douglas (6-2, 200, Sr.) – 20.8 ppg, 3.0 apg
22 Derwin Kitchen (6-4, 180, So.) - 8.2 ppg, 2.3 apg
31 Chris Singleton (6-9, 220, Fr.) – 7.8 ppg, 5.0 rpg
41 Uche Echefu (6-9, 225, Sr.) - 8.9 ppg, 5.3 rpg
32 Solomon Alabi (7-1, 241, Fr.) – 8.2 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 2.2 bpg
42 Ryan Reid (6-8, 235, Jr.) – 5.2 ppg, 3.7 rpg
3 Luke Loucks (6-5, 205, Fr.) – 3.3 ppg, 2.2 apg
2 Jordan DeMercy (6-7, 208, So.) – 3.4 ppg, 2.8 rpg
4 Deividas Dulkys (6-5, 195, Fr.) – 3.6 ppg
1 Xavier Gibson (6-11, 230, Fr.) – 2.2 ppg, 1.4 rpg
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