FSU Basketball: 3 reasons Noles can beat Duke in ACC Tournament

Carrie Guzman
March 17, 2019

Virginia was torched by hot shooting Florida State Friday night in the ACC Semifinals, 69-59.

According to Bracket Matrix, Florida State is looking at a 4 seed right now, and I think they have some real Elite 8 potential, especially if they get the type of draw that Joe Lundardi is predicting.

There were three different shades of blue-bloods, two Hall-of-Fame coaches and, as anyone watching the television broadcast can attest, a superstar freshman waiting for the spotlight.

FSU (27-6), which will play in Saturday night's tournament championship game against the victor of the Duke-North Carolina game, went on a 13-1 run spurred by eight points from Nichols to take its biggest lead of the night, 62-49 with less than six minutes left.

Phil Cofer had 11 points and 7-foot-3 center Christ Koumadje added nine points and nine rebounds.

Duke: This tournament has largely been about Williamson's return from the injury that had sidelined him for almost six full games, and what it means for the Blue Devils going forward.

North Carolina (27-6), which has won 15 of its last 17 games, is now ranked No. 7 in the latest NET rankings, which is the primary metric the selection committee will use when seeding teams on Selection Sunday. The Blue Devils later made it back-to-back national championships.

Puts the Seminoles on the inside track for at least a No. 3 seed in next week's NCAA tournament, which would increase their chances of spending the first weekend of the tournament in Jacksonville, Fla., by far the closest site to Tallahassee.

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"I told them last night: 'We've won a lot of championships but I haven't won one with you, "' Krzyzewski said during the trophy presentation. "We've got six more games, hopefully".

"And there's really no reason to hold our head, because we have a good team". The "Noles had shot just 34.1 percent in a 65-52 loss back in the teams" ACC opener on January 5, but Friday night, shot 56.5 percent from the floor, and 58.3 percent in the second half. As the half wound down, however, the Cavaliers closed in on Florida State's lead, getting as close as within two points of the Seminoles. For large stretches, they dominated.

Auburn went 13 of 34 from 3-point range and broke the SEC record for 3-pointer in a season with 368. "I remember we cut down the nets in the ACC tournament a year ago and we didn't like the way our season ended so this isn't the end all be all by any means so just about tying to figure out how much better we can get between now and Thursday or Friday", Virginia guard Ty Jerome said. Junior Kyle Guy (Indianapolis, Ind.) had 11 points and junior Ty Jerome (New Rochelle, N.Y.) had 10.

So yes, this week's ACC tournament proved that Duke again belongs at the top of the ladder.

"Hat's off to Florida State". Williamson scored a whopping 29 points to lead the team to victory.

Hamilton all season has preached that the Seminoles "win by committee", and that they're greater than the sum of their individual parts. Senior big man Antonio Vrankovic was not expecting to play.

The Cavaliers boast wins over North Carolina, Virginia Tech (twice), Louisville (twice), Maryland and Wisconsin.

The custom white and blue Nikes he wore for his return feature Duke's logo on the back.

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