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.