Miami vs. Florida State Could Be a Worthy ACC Undercard Tonight

Posted by Jimmy Kelley on February 13th, 2013

Jimmy Kelley is a columnist for the ACC microsite. Follow him on Twitter @DevilsInDurham

When rivalry week rolls around each February the attention shifts toward the major games: Duke vs. North Carolina, Michigan vs. Michigan State, Kentucky vs. Florida, Syracuse vs. UConn, and other games of that ilk. However, some of the other games on ESPN’s slate are worthy of attention and one such game is Wednesday’s match-up between #3 Miami and Florida State. Long the football-playing athletic younger brother of Florida State’s disciplined teams, Miami has flipped the script this season with its play and crushed the Seminoles in Coral Gables, 71-47, earlier this season. But it is rivalry week and at this time of year records mean less than they otherwise would, so Miami could be in for a fight in Tallahassee tonight.

Michael Snaer, Florida State

Michael Snaer scored just four points when Miami crushed Florida State, 71-47, back on Jan. 27. (C.W. Griffin, MCT)

Florida State may lack the same toughness and leadership that sparked them to last year’s ACC Tournament championship but they return enough players with pride that they aren’t keen on allowing a repeat of this season’s first game or last season’s game in Tallahassee — a 16-point Miami win — come to pass. “Why not?” FSU guard Ian Miller told the Orlando Sentinel when asked if the Seminoles could win. “Why not go out and do something special?” That sentiment, if felt throughout the team, could be enough to push the Seminoles over the top tonight. But if they are going to score the upset they will need players like Miller and star guard Michael Snaer to come through with a pair of seas0n-best performances.

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Night Line: Instant Classic a Result of Duke’s Late-Game Execution, UNC’s Lack of It

Posted by EJacoby on February 9th, 2012

Evan Jacoby is a regular contributor to RTC. You can find him @evanjacoby on Twitter. Night Line will run on weeknights during the season, highlighting a major storyline development from that day’s games.

Austin Rivers’ three-ball went down for Duke at the buzzer, and Mike Krzyzewski’s team walked away with a stunning road victory in Chapel Hill on Wednesday night. This 85-84 Blue Devils win will always be remembered for the freshman guard’s late-game heroics, but there were plenty of other factors that played into the result. By now, I assume everyone has seen the shot, which will undoubtedly go down as one of the all-time great moments in the 92-year history of the Tobacco Road rivalry. But it cannot be forgotten that this game was actually not a back-and-forth classic between the two teams. North Carolina led the entire second half, including a nine-point advantage at the under-four minute timeout, and gave the game away by failing to make any winning plays down the stretch. Meanwhile, Duke was clinical from the outside and knocked down clutch shot after clutch shot, capped off by the game-winning shot by Rivers as time expired. All that was left from there was a completely silenced Dean Smith Center, an elated Blue Devils sideline, and a moment that will be replayed hundreds of times this season.

Austin Rivers is About to Silence a Crowd of Thousands in this Game-Winning Shot for Duke (Getty Images)

If you want to know why North Carolina blew an 11-point lead at home with 4:09 to play, the answer certainly begins with the clutch play of Duke’s Rivers. But it doesn’t end there. He had a career-high 29 points on 6-10 shooting from three, but one man cannot be solely responsible for erasing a double-figure lead in four minutes. Instead, look at the home team’s attempts to close out the game and what they did wrong, which includes three missed free throws, three offensive rebounds allowed, two turnovers, and a total of one field-goal attempted in the final four-plus minutes. Leading 79-68, UNC allowed Duke to score after a missed three with a second-chance putback. Then came the barrage of mistakes, which were incurred on offense by way of clanked free throws and lost-ball turnovers. On the other end, Duke was 6-8 from the field to close out the game with three huge three-pointers and three other deep jumpers.

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