Alex Conway & John Gwaltney Jr TarHeelIllustrated.com Staff
North Carolina returns from its victorious trip at Clemson to
host Florida State Sunday afternoon. The Tar Heels are on
a four game winning streak and will seek to sweep the Seminoles
after dropping both games to them last year.
What a difference a year makes.
The Seminoles are the defending ACC tournament champions but
currently sit seventh in this year's standings.
They still feature the dangerous
Michael Snaer but clearly aren't the same team that beat up on
the Tar Heels last season.
Florida State at a glance
Tallahassee, Florida Nickname: Seminoles Colors: Garnet & Gold Conference: ACC Arena: Donald L. Tucker Center (10,000) 2011-2012 Record: 25-10 (12-4) Last Game: W 76-62 vs. Wake Forest on Feb. 26, 2013 in
Tallahassee Last Game vs. UNC: L 77-72 on Jan 12, 2013 in
Tallahassee More on the Tigers: Schedule
GAME PREVIEW THOUGHTS
Remember earlier in the year when it seemed like
Roy Williams was coaching a rec league team because it felt like
everybody wearing a Carolina blue jersey was required to see at
least one minute of game action?
Well UNC's last game against Clemson showed that Williams has
figured out who he trusts to play big minutes during the stretch
Only six Tar Heels received double-digit minutes on the road
against the Tigers.
In fact, the last time Williams allowed a seventh player to hit
the ten minute mark in a game for UNC was against Virginia.
Williams is notorious for using a deep bench to wear down
opposing teams by constantly throwing bodies out on the floor and
turning games into a track meet. Few collegiate teams can
produce that many talent players to keep up the break-neck pace
Williams likes to keep.
But this season's squad isn't a traditional one for Williams.
They rely on the three more often than he probably likes and they
only have one true post presence (James
Michael McAdoo). Having a short rotation is just another
indicator that Williams has been forced to adapt his game as much as
any player on the team has.
P.J. Hairston had 23 points off the bench during UNC's first
go-around with Florida State.
He'll be starting this time around if recent history is any
indication and continue to serve as a match-up nightmare.
Hairston connected on 9-14 field goals and drilled four
three-pointers. Hairston helped turn around UNC's bad luck
during that January meeting-UNC was on a two-game losing streak-and
helped spark UNC's lethargic offense when he was inserted into the
starting line-up against Duke.
Watching Hairston and Snaer go back and forth should be a delight
for college basketball fans.
Snaer only managed to muster nine points against UNC during their
first encounter. The Seminoles will need much more than that
if they hope to pull off an upset.
Snaer has played well of late, scoring 20 or more points in three
of his last four outings. Snaer dropped 24 on Wake Forest and
looked terrific doing it. He shot 70 percent from the field
and was 8-8 from the free throw line.
UNC's perimeter defenders will have their hands full defending a
guy that garnered a lot of pre-season ACC Player of the Year votes.
According to ESPN's Joe Lunardi and his prognostication, UNC is
currently projected as a seven seed. With a tough three game
stretch to close the season and the ACC tournament still looming,
UNC has plenty of chances to raise its stock.
The flipside is it won't be easy. Florida State has always
been a tough game for UNC, UNC will be playing Maryland in the
Terrapins last ACC game at home and Duke is, well, Duke.
Coach Williams has had his hands full attempting to push the
right buttons at every twist and turn this season with a young,
inexperienced team. The next few weeks will be the final exam
for a team that has been in the prep course stage for much of the
Florida State (15-13, 7-8) vs. North
Date: Sun, Mar 3,
2013 Time: 2:00 PM EST Venue:
Dean E. Smith Center (21, 750) TV:CBS Radio: Tar Heel Sports
Network & SiriusXM (Sirius 91/XM 91) Series: UNC leads,
43-12 (UNC is 17-4 vs. the Seminoles in Chapel Hill, including 14-4 in
the Smith Center.)