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ACC Roundup - UNC Improves, At Least Defensively, Still Loses And Back In Last Place

The game was close, but FSU was physically dominant.

NCAA Basketball: North Carolina at Florida State
Feb 3, 2020; Tallahassee, Florida, USA; Florida State Seminoles center Dominik Olejniczak (15) fouls North Carolina Tar Heels guard Cole Anthony (2) during the first half at Donald L. Tucker Center.
Melina Myers-USA TODAY Sports

Only one Tuesday game but it was very interesting indeed as UNC went to Tallahassee, played really much better than they have in weeks and came reasonably close to pulling an upset.

Tuesday’s ACC Action

  • Duke @ Boston College || 7:00 || ESPN
  • Virginia Tech @ Georgia Tech || 7:00 || ACCN

Monday’s Result:

  • Florida State 65 UNC 59

ACC Standings

Not close enough though as Florida State won 65-59.

We thought that FSU might blow UNC out. The ‘Noles are long, deep and athletic and UNC is not, at least not with the injuries they’ve suffered.

And indeed, Florida State put a blanket over UNC’s bigs: Garrison Brooks had just five points, four rebounds and four fouls. Armando Bacot had six points, six rebounds and three fouls (it’s worth noting that in the three games before Cole Anthony returned, Brooks had 67 total points - 22.3 per game - and 29 rebounds - 9.6 per game. Since he’s scored 15 points - 7.5 per game - and grabbed 14 rebounds, or 7 per game).

So we were surprised in the first half to see UNC constantly pick off Florida State’s passes. In some cases it was just stupidity: the ‘Noles went to the left corner several times then cut towards the basket and passed in the middle...straight to a UNC defender.

FSU did not play well and UNC played better than they have in some time other than the NC State game. Yet with 8:00 left Florida State’s depth and talent began to overcome its poor decisions and the ‘Noles just killed UNC inside.

In fact, you could shorthand this game this way: UNC took the ball away at eye level but FSU took it away above the shoulder

FSU put on a block party and some of those ten blocks were very physical. On UNC’s last possession, Cole Anthony drove, had it blocked, got the rebound, shot much higher to avoid another block, then UNC got blocked again on the next follow.

And that’s how the game finished. Like it did for much of the game, UNC got punked at the end.

After the game, Roy Williams said he was “pissed.” He agreed his team played better but still didn’t make winning plays and said “it’s not frickin’ nuclear science out there” and that his team needed to do, basically, what he’s telling them to do.

It’s not quite throwing them under the bus again but he’s cocked back and ready.

The Tar Heels are now back in a tie for last place with Miami and Wake Forest.

UNC is off until Saturday when the Tar Heels host Duke. As for FSU, the ‘Noles get Miami on Saturday and the Blue Devils on Monday.

In Monday’s Coaches Poll - our go-to - Louisville is ranked #5, Duke #7 and Florida State #8.

On Tuesday things pick up a bit as Duke visits Boston College, and the Techs, Virginia and Georgia, face off in Atlanta. The Yellow Jackets have been tougher on defense and the Hokies can shoot you right out of the gym. Something has to give.