Roy Williams has never been a coach to really get his team revved up for the ACC Tournament each year, but he sure had his team ready to go in Friday’s quarterfinal against Florida State. Once again, the Tar Heels and their small lineup really spaced the floor well and shot effectively from outside. PJ Hairston led the way for Carolina with 21 points on 7-11 shooting and 5-6 from three which proved to be too much for the Seminoles despite an offensive outpour from Michael Snaer.
Perhaps the most impressive part of Carolina’s game was how they handled the basketball. UNC only had seven turnovers on the night and the Tar Heel point guards, Marcus Paige and Dexter Strickland, only had two a piece. Paige, in particular, played a great basketball game and ran the offensive gameplan to perfection. He got the entire team involved which played a huge role in his 10 assists on the night. His vision not only in the full court, but more particularly the half court, was outstanding and really showed how much he has grown over the course of the season.
Paige was able to open up some space for himself as well by logging nine points by getting into the lane for some easy layups, but the man who did the big damage inside was James Michael McAdoo. JMM got hot early and shot 6-9 from the floor finishing with 12 points before eventually fouling out. Once McAdoo got going, that opened the door for PJ Hairston and Reggie Bullock to really take advantage of the consolidated defense that Florida State kept throwing at North Carolina.
Carolina finished the game with a 21 point victory and qualified for the semifinal matchup this afternoon against Maryland who upset the Duke Blue Devils in the game prior. I’m sure the Tar Heels wanted another shot at Duke who blew them out on their home floor a week ago, but I’m sure the players won’t complain about going up against the lower seed. The tip this afternoon is at 3:30 and will follow the NC State vs Miami game. One thing to note is that Hairston left the game early with a bloody right hand caused by a cut on his finger. It’s unknown whether or not Hairston will need stitches, but if he does, he will more than likely miss tomorrow’s game.