"They came out in the second half more determined, and I didn't feel that we had that same level of focus and energy that they had".
In the aftermath of Saturday's ACC tournament championship, Duke's stars slipped past questions about tournament seeding and national title expectations with the same effortless control they showed in their second-half dismantling of Florida State. He was named most outstanding player of the ACC Tournament on Saturday.
Roy Williams is fond of using golf analogies when describing situations involving his North Carolina basketball team.
BT Sport are the right holders in the United Kingdom for televising college basketball on their ESPN channel.
Those new shoes may have not have helped Williamson on the court Thursday night but they certainly didn't hurt him, as he went 13-for-13 from the field. Florida State has to find a way to force him to drive to the basket instead or they will fall behind.
BT Sport's coverage of Duke vs Florida State on TV means the match is also being streamed online.
Trent Forrest scored inside and then buried a wide-open 3-pointer to give FSU an early 20-10 lead, but the Cavaliers responded with 7 straight, capped by Kyle Guy's first bucket of the night, a 3-ball with 6:24 left in the opening half.
No. 1 seed Virginia (29-3) fell 69-59 to No. 4 seed Florida State (27-6) in the 2019 ACC Tournament Semifinals on Friday night at the Spectrum Center. They will face the victor of the Duke Blue Devils and North Carolina Tar Heels game.
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North Carolina improved to 101-46 all-time in the ACC Tournament and to 46-13 in quarterfinal games. Nichols led the bench with his aforementioned 14 points.
Trailing the Blue Devils are the rest of the No. 1 seeds Gonzaga (5/1), North Carolina (6/1) and Virginia (15/2). "So if we play well, hopefully we can go 1-0 and then we'll address the next one". They were trying to beat Duke three times in a season for the first time since 1976, though Williamson barely played in the first game and not at all in the second due to a knee sprain.
Duke: This tournament has largely been about Williamson's return from the injury that had sidelined him for almost six full games, and what it means for the Blue Devils going forward. Three weeks later, he sat out the regular-season finale in Chapel Hill, and again the Heels dominated. A win over Florida State would push Virginia a step closer to taking home a conference tournament title in what is arguably the strongest conference in all of college basketball.
"When you play a team that has a game under their belt you have to be really ready so I'm not sure, I know we challenged our guys to be as ready as we could with that in our first game but NC State did a good job".
And after Friday's prizefight, it might be that the final decision on which team is better will be made after yet another rematch in the NCAA tournament.
"We can play so much better", said senior guard Kenny Williams, who left himself plenty of room for personal improvement by going 1 for 8 from the floor.
Barrett finished with 15 points, eight rebounds and seven assists in a matchup of two heavyweights contending for top seeds in the NCAA Tournament.
Muir said Michigan State leapfrogged another No. 2 seed, Kentucky, by winning the Big Ten but "at the same token, we thought Michigan and Michigan State would both be on the "2" line".