Virginia will not be repeating the sweep.
No. 12 Florida State upset the No. 2 Cavaliers, who were trying to follow up a regular season conference crown with a tournament title for the second consecutive season, 69-59 Friday night in the ACC tournament semifinals.
Here’s how the Seminoles did it.
Florida State hit tough shots — and finished at a high percentage
Coming into the game, Virginia was allowing teams to shoot only 37.4 percent from the floor, good for No. 3 in the nation.
The Seminoles didn’t follow protocol. FSU shot 56.5 percent. That’s Duke-like when it comes to the Virginia defense. The Cavaliers had been 29-2 this season, losing only to the Blue Devils twice. In those games, Duke shot 51 percent and then 57.8 percent.
Meanwhile, Virginia’s Kyle Guy and Ty Jerome shot a combined 4-for-14 on 3-pointers…while everyone else made only one of their 10 attempts combined from distance.
Virginia also made only 41.5 percent of its shots.
DOWN GOES VIRGINIA!
— NCAA March Madness (@marchmadness) March 16, 2019
Florida State outmuscled Virginia on the glass
The Seminoles missed 20 shots and grabbed nine offensive rebounds, good for 45 percent. For perspective, the Cavaliers missed 31 shots yet are credited with only seven rebounds on the offensive end, getting 22.6 percent of misses.
The Seminoles finished plus-15 on the glass. Both Christ Koumadje and Mfiondu Kabengele had three offensive rebounds apiece.
Florida State’s depth came through again
28 to 8.
That’s the scoreline in bench points in favor of Florida State. David Nichols scored 14 off the bench for FSU. Nichols made six of his eight shots to lead all players in scoring. Nichols also had five rebounds, three assists and two steals.
— ACC Men’s Basketball (@accmbb) March 16, 2019
Save for some turnover woes late in the game, the Seminoles were in control for much of the final stretch of the game.
Now FSU, an Elite Eight team just a season ago, will be playing for its first ACC tournament title since 2012.
In his most recent predicted bracket, Andy Katz had Florida State a No. 4 and Virginia a No. 1. But the Seminoles have now posted back-to-back wins against Virginia Tech and Virginia — with another highly ranked foe set for Saturday.