Florida State upends Virginia, 69-59, in ACC semifinals

Even in defeat Tar Heels believe they’re worthy of a No. 1 seed

Even in defeat Tar Heels believe they’re worthy of a No. 1 seed

Phil Cofer had 11 points and 7-foot-3 center Christ Koumadje added nine points and nine rebounds for the Seminoles, who will play the victor of No. 3 North Carolina/No. 5 Duke on Saturday night. The Seminoles upset No. 2 Virginia in the s first semifinal.

Whether Virginia has the NCAA Tournament's top overall seed, a lower 1-seed or an inconceivable 2-seed, the team has been too good this season for anything other than a Final Four to be a reasonable goal.

In the win over the Cavaliers, Florida State's David Nichols led the team on 14 points with three assists and five rebounds.

But that's how FSU rolls.

In three games at Spectrum Center, Jerome has shot 11 for 40 and just 4 for 24 from three-point range.

Even when the Cavaliers did gain possession, Florida State forced almost desperation heaves with the shot clock winding down, with Jerome and Huff both missing badly on three-point attempts.

The Cavaliers led briefly during the second half and were down 49-48 after Jerome's 3-pointer off a nasty dribble shake of M.J. Walker. Nichols scored eight of those 13 points. "More physical, all of it".

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Between Duke's five regular starters, there have been a total of 10 missed games, not including Williamson's early exits vs. the Seminoles and North Carolina as well as Jones' absence for much of the first game against Syracuse.

"It was obvious that our kids were really locked in for this game, and a lot of it is because we have such a tremendous amount of respect for the job that Tony does and the legacy he's built at Virginia", Seminoles Coach Leonard Hamilton said of the ACC coach of the year. They defended well. They were sound, and tonight they were the tougher team, or more physical.

"Anytime this league in basketball has something happen that's never been done before, it's pretty remarkable", ACC commissioner John Swofford said prior to tipoff.

At the top of today's big showdowns is the ACC Tournament Championship between Duke and Florida State.

"We're focused enough and we've been around the block a few times", Huff said. "We've got to worry about that first before we can think about anything else".

Bennett has coached some fantastic teams at Virginia, but his lack of NCAA Tournament success is becoming a larger and larger narrative of his career.

"I do now", he said.

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