North Carolina (10-5) at Florida State (10-5)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, January 12, 2 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Donald L. Tucker Center (12,100) -- Tallahassee, Florida. Television: ESPN. Home Record: UNC 7-1, FSU 4-4. Away Record: UNC 1-3, FSU 3-1. Neutral Record: UNC 2-1, FSU 3-0. Conference Record: UNC 0-2, FSU 2-0. Series Record: North Carolina leads, 42-12.
GAME NOTES: The North Carolina Tar Heels will be out for revenge when they head to the Donald L. Tucker Center on Saturday to face the Florida State Seminoles in Atlantic Coast Conference action.
Although UNC holds a 42-12 all-time series lead over the Seminoles, it lost to Florida State by 33 points in Tallahassee last season before falling to FSU, 85-82, in the ACC Tournament. The Seminoles have never defeated UNC three times in a row before.
The makeup for that Tar Heels unit was much different as they were ranked third in the nation entering last season's regular season matchup. North Carolina has a long way to go to return to the upper echelon. Roy Williams and his squad built some momentum prior to league play as they downed UNLV (79-73) in Chapel Hill, but they lost back-to-back games for the first time this season after their encounters at Virginia (61-52) and versus Miami- Florida (68-59). A loss in this one will give the Tar Heels an 0-3 conference record, which would equal the program's worst ACC start.
Leonard Hamilton's Seminoles took care of business in the early stages of their league slate by notching road wins over Clemson (71-66) and Maryland (65-62) to raise their overall record to 10-5. Florida State has clearly gained steam since its mediocre 4-4 start. The Seminoles are in the middle of the road in the ACC in most statistical categories, but they are averaging a conference-best 5.2 blocks per game after rejecting 13 of the Terrapins' attempts in their last outing.
UNC was limited to a season-low 52 points in its conference opener by a Virginia squad that leads the nation in scoring defense. But it continued to suffer offensive woes its next time out, producing only 59 points on 40 percent shooting from the field versus the Hurricanes. The scoring drought for the Tar Heels is somewhat confusing, as they come into this contest averaging 79.9 ppg, good for ninth nationally. The team has benefited from good ball movement as well, ranking fourth nationally in assists per game (18.5). Sophomore forward James Michael McAdoo was expected to be one of the top players in the NCAA this season after showing flashes of brilliance during his freshman campaign. While McAdoo is producing 14.5 points and 8.1 rebounds per contest to pace UNC, he still has a ways to go to be considered one of the elite. Reggie Bullock is next in the scoring column (13.6 ppg), shooting an impressive .480 from 3-point range. P.J. Hairston rounds out the double-figure scorers (11.6 ppg).
FSU used a balanced attack to fend off the Terps on Wednesday. Okaro White scored 20 points on 7-of-13 shooting from the field while adding nine rebounds and six blocks to spearhead the effort. Michael Snaer was 5-of-8 from the floor, adding 15 points, while Ian Miller scored 12, hitting on 3-of-6 from beyond the arc. The Seminoles turned defense into offense as Maryland's 18 turnovers were converted into 13 points. Snaer has been the go-to-guy for Florida State, as he is averaging 15.6 points and 5.3 rebounds per game, while shooting .404 from the field and .408 from the 3-point line. White is a superb second option with 13.3 points and 6.3 boards per contest.
The Tar Heels will need a huge effort to take down this feisty FSU squad. The 3-point arc may play a vital role as neither side is shy from long distance. UNC seems to be missing a necessary link, which could hurt as Hamilton's Seminoles are clicking as a group at the perfect time.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Florida State 71, North Carolina 63
01/12 10:50:27 ET