In what turned out to be a very exciting ACC Tournament Championship Game, Florida State defeated North Carolina 85-82 to win the Title.
Carolina, playing again without John Henson, fought back all game from deficit's as large as 16 points and had an opportunity at the end to tie the game. A P.J. Hairston desperation deep three fell to the left and the Tar Heels fell. But this Carolina team showed heart, battling until the end. A three pointer by Kendall Marshall with 32 seconds left pulled the Heels to within a point. They had an opportunity when Okaro White missed the front end of a one and one and again it was Marshall launching an open three that rimmed out. After two free throws by Deividas Dulkys, North Carolina was forced to take a three to tie. They advanced the ball to half court and used a timeout to set up the final shot.
Roy Williams applauded his team's effort, "I have no problem with the way my team competed, particularly in the last 12 minutes. It was a big-time basketball game and we gave ourselves a chance."
Florida State played a very solid game shooting over 60 percent for most of the game, finishing at 58.9%. But to North Carolina's credit, they were able to stay in the game and make the late run in a game in which they clearly missed Henson who sat again with an injured wrist. Henson was available for emergency use only in the game.
It was P.J. Hairston who picked up the Tar Heels in the second half with a burst of energy off the bench. He went three for seven from three's and finished with 13 points for the game. Harrison Barnes played aggressively throughout scoring 23 hard earned points against a touch as nails Seminoles defense.
Player of the Year, Tyler Zeller was big as well going for 19 points and 12 rebounds. After a slow start Marshall had 15 points and 9 assists.
North Carolina, playing with a short bench, basically went 7 players deep in a fast paced, physical game. Despite the absence of Henson, the Tar Heels still out rebounded Florida State 37-26. James Michael McAdoo, playing in place of the Tar Heel Junior, struggled from the floor but grabbed 8 boards.
Florida State had a balanced attack racking up 21 team assists and had 4 players in double figures with 3 others finishing with 9 points each. Michael Snaer led the Seminoles with 18 points.
UNC, who finished as regular season Champions are considered to have earned a number 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament but will await their fate when the brackets are released this evening. Florida State goes into the NCAA Tournament with the automatic bid from the conference and a lot of momentum.