ACC Tourney: Friday Fun (pt. I)
#1 UVA vs #9 FSU
First of all, I sit down for my seats for this thrilling quarterfinal Friday and what do I see? Yes. You guessed it. The FSU cheerleaders are conveniently located just to my right. Too much. SO excuse me if my game reactions are a bit off. I blame them.
Joe Harris didn’t take long to get going for the Cavaliers. FSU’s Okaro White responded with a three-point make from well outside. The Noles were here to give the Cavs a game, it appeared early.
FSU was playing extremely tight and aggressive defense. I liked it…a lot. On a side note, it looks like the Cavalier fans traveled really well – pretty proud of that No. 1 seed, eh?
But man, the turnovers were mounting for the Noles. They already have six here in the first half. Stop, make that seven. But they only trail by a pair of points!
I felt like Joe Harris needed a step ladder to shoot over Ojo of FSU out there. There were also some Oscar award-winning acting jobs on some flops out there. Bravo, players!
At the half, it was the Cavaliers with the 32-27 advantage. Anthony Gill and Joe Harris each reached double figures for UVA while FSU’s Okaro White tallied a team-leading 13 points for FSU.
Troubling for the Noles, however, were those nine turnovers. Luckily for them, though, the Cavaliers weren’t finding their way to the foul line – only one measly trip.
The Russian acrobatics at the half was not bad. I just wish she tried her hand at a trampoline dunk like yesterday – way more flexible than those dudes were.
I always crack up when coaches take a timeout right before the official media timeouts. Coach Leonard Hamilton for FSU apparently likes to crack me up.
UVA got to the foul line for only the second time in the entire game six minutes into the second half…say what?
The Cavaliers were racing away from the Noles midway through the second half, up 50-37. So many scoring threats. Too many, really.
Many of us in press row were just lamenting the impending loss of the ‘party animals’. (AKA the ‘Golden Girls’ and the rowdy FSU band)
UVA gained full control by doing what they do best – cause missed shots by the opponent and shoot the lights out of the ball from the floor.
FINAL: UVA 64 – FSU 51
#4 UNC vs. #5 Pitt
Well, the Carolina fans were having fun with their TAR—-HEELS chants before the game, but no so much after it started.
The Tar Heels started the game 0-7 from the floor and after closing to within one point, Pittsburgh went on a 17-1 run to claim a 25-8 lead with 7:14 remaining in the half.
Patterson and Zanna were dominating inside with their physicality and effort. But honestly, it looked like the Tar Heels just didn’t show up in Greensboro. As Roy says, “They couldn’t throw it in the ocean from the beach!”
Luckily for the Tar Heels, “second half Paige” made an appearance in the waning minutes of the first half. If not, the game would have got completely out of hand. Unfortunately for UNC, though, ALL of Pitt’s players were playing exceptionally well.
McAdoo got a last second basket to go. At intermission, Pitt led UNC 36-26.
The Panthers were shooting north of 50 percent from the floor while the Tar Heels were under a 40 percent clip.
James Robinson was having himself a day for Pitt, putting up 12 points in the first half. Johnson led the way for Carolina with eight points. The rebounds were 20-12 in favor of the Panthers.
The second half brought a higher sense of urgency for both the Carolina players and the fans in the crowd. Paige hurt his ankle/foot and was relegated to some time on the bike behind the UNC bench. He even left briefly to go to the locker room.
Paige got back on the floor after the under-16 media timeout. Shockingly, Pitt’s Zanna had 16 rebounds to Carolina’s total 16 rebounds as a team. That’s not a typo. That’s an ugly truth.
Roy Williams went off on the refs after an out of bounds call he absolutely hated. Assistant C.B. McGrath had to restrain him to avoid technical. But I think a technical wouldn’t have been the worst thing in the world to fire up the Tar Heels!
Paige, in typical fashion, tried to rally the troops late in the game. The UNC defensive intensity was ratcheted up immensely, putting on a full court press. Nate Britt’s sloppy turnover on an inbound pass was costly for UNC – just as the Tar Heels were going on a little run.
But never fear. UNC continued to fight and turn Pitt over with the defensive pressure. This one got extremely interesting. The crowd finally had the chance to get loud, but when Paige fouled out with under a minute left, the Tar Heels lost their only perimeter shooting threat, effectively ending the game.
Pitt grabbed the victory and advanced to Semifinal Saturday to face top-seeded Virginia.
FINAL: PITT 80 – UNC 75