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Florida State wins rematch with UNC, takes ACC title

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Have we found North Carolina’s kryptonite?

No. 17 Florida State used a sharp-shooting performance from three-point range and 18 points from all-conference guard Michael Snaer to beat the No. 4 Tar Heels, 85-82, and win the ACC tournament title.

It was a much closer game than the 33-point beatdown that the Seminoles gave North Carolina on January 14th, but Florida State was helped to victory on Sunday afternoon by many of the same things that got them a win earlier in the year.

The problem for UNC (and the biggest point of emphasis for Florida State) was openings on the perimeter that freed up Seminole shooters for uncontested threes.

Florida State hit 11-of-22 from beyond the arc on Sunday afternoon, while their defense held North Carolina to just 5-of-20.

Whether or not the problem has to do with the absence of guard Dexter Strickland, who was lost earlier in the year to a knee injury, the Tar Heels will need to get defenders out to the perimeter in the NCAA tournament, especially if they run into a pesky team that finds its stroke from long distance.

The other deciding factor is size.

North Carolina is one of the longest, tallest teams in the country, which has made them a matchup nightmare for most opponents. With Florida State, though, that advantage disappears.

With John Henson sitting on the sidelines with a wrist injury, the interior presence opposite Tyler Zeller was absent. North Carolina blocked just one shot and Henson’s replacement, James Michael McAdoo, was 2-of-10 from the field for four points.

Credit is also due to Florida State’s Luke Loucks, who went punch-for-punch with North Carolina’s Kendall Marshall, one of the best point guards in the country. Loucks finished with 10 points and 13 assists.

North Carolina should be a No. 1 seed when the bracket is revealed. Florida State should be a No.4 seed, according to NBC’s latest projections.

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at JohnnyJungle.com, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_

No. 13 Iowa State suspends Jameel McKay indefinitely

Iowa State forward Georges Niang, forward Jameel McKay, forward Abdel Nader and guard Deonte Burton celebrate after center Stuart Nezlek scored late in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Coppin State, Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2015, in Ames, Iowa. Iowa State won 104-84 (AP Photo/Justin Hayworth)
AP Photo/Justin Hayworth
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Already lacking depth, No. 13 Iowa State will be short a key contributor Saturday when they take on Oklahoma State in Stillwater.

Friday night it was announced that senior forward Jameel McKay has been suspended indefinitely by head coach Steve Prohm and did not make the trip with the team. McKay, who’s been dealing with knee issues recently, is averaging 12.4 points and a team-high 9.0 rebounds per game on the season.

Over the last six games he’s averaging 7.7 points and 8.7 rebounds per contest, shooting 60.6 percent from the field.

McKay has been asked to man the middle for a team lacking in both size and depth, with Georges Niang shifting over to the five when McKay needs a break for either rest or foul trouble reasons. Without McKay even more responsibility falls upon the shoulders of Niang, Abdel Nader and Deonte Burton in the front court.

The Cyclones are looking to end a two-game losing streak, and even with Oklahoma State’s struggles accomplishing that gets tougher with McKay out of the lineup.

News of McKay’s suspension was first reported by the Ames Tribune.

UNLV dismisses guard Daquan Cook from team

Illinois v UNLV
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LAS VEGAS (AP) UNLV junior guard Daquan Cook has been dismissed from the team.

Interim coach Todd Simon made the announcement on Friday, though no reason was given.

Cook was suspended for 13 games by previous coach Dave Rice in November after being arrested and charged with DUI.

Cook appeared in two games this season after being reinstated, scoring three points in four minutes. He missed the 2014-15 season after tearing his right ACL and played 28 games as a sophomore.