ACC Tournament: Semifinals PreviewPosted by mpatton on March 10th, 2012
This is the juciest semifinals the ACC Tournament had to offer: rematch of NC State – North Carolina (where it’s likely John Henson will be limited at best) that will seal NC State’s NCAA bid, pride and return to relevance with a win and the Duke – Florida State rubber match (where Ryan Kelly is hurt) featuring the Seminoles playing better basketball.
I give both underdogs very good odds at winning. NC State could go either way: the team was amped after beating Virginia so this could be a bit of an emotional letdown game, but in a rivalry game I expect the Wolfpack to be in top form. CJ Leslie is playing as well as anyone right now and the Wolfpack have the athleticism to run with the Tar Heels (especially when some of the alternative lineups are on the floor). I expect Kendall Marshall and Henson to get plenty of rest so that’s a lot of those alternative minutes.
Florida State should have a little bit of an edge against Duke sans Kelly. The one thing that will keep Duke in it is Florida State’s recent inability to close games. If the Plumlees get into foul trouble like they did in Tallahassee, we’ll be seeing a whole lot of Josh Hairston. And while the Seminoles have struggled against teams playing small ball, Hairston isn’t exactly a stretch-four like Kelly.