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Inside the box score: FSU knocks out Virginia

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This will be the 3rd time FSU has played for the ACC Title

NCAA Basketball: ACC Conference Tournament-Florida State vs Virginia Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports
  1. FSU became just the 2nd team this year to beat Virginia. This improved their record to 27-6 on the season, which is the exact record the 1971-72 FSU Final Four team posted, and remains the record for most wins by any Seminole team. If the ‘Noles can win at least one more game this year they will set a new standard for wins. Considering the ACC is grabbing money and expanding the conference to a 20-game season, any record set this year may stand for a long time.
  2. Virginia cut FSU’s 2nd half lead to one when Ty Jerome finally got off the schneid and knocked down a long 3-pointer with 12 minutes to play. FSU, as they’ve done all year with different players stepping up, responded. And this time it was David Nichols’ turn. He scored eight of FSU’s next 11 points, forcing UVA to call a timeout with the lead back to 11. He was able to drive and back down Kihei Clark, and also hit a tough turnaround over the ACC Defensive Player of the Year De’Andre Hunter. He finished with 14 points, five rebounds, three assists, and two steals.
  3. Florida State didn’t shoot a ton of 3s, but they made 6-16 (38%) which was enough. Against Virginia Tech FSU made 39% and this came after five straight games of shooting 32% or worse. Florida State hasn’t lost a game this season when they make better than 32%.
  4. The best way to defend 3s is by not allowing other teams to take them. Kyle Guy entered the game having made 23-35 (66%) in his past four games. Coach Hamilton pulled one of his favorite defensive cards which was to face guard Guy and let everyone else play 4-on-4. The wrinkle was that FSU also switched every non-Koumadje screen, so everyone on the floor had to be prepared to switch at will from playing team defense to face-guarding Guy. The end result was that Guy only attempted five 3s (making 2). He’s attempted fewer 3s in a game once this year. After the game, big man Jack Salt said that “FSU punked us.” The ‘Noles were the more physical, and tougher, team.
  5. FSU won 69-59 in a 59 possession game. Florida State’s 1.18 points per possession were the 2nd most scored against Virginia this year. The FSU defense is now rated 9th nationally, and since February 1, it’s been the 3rd best defense in the nation.