UNC must get through Duke to claim ACC Tournament title
Posted March 12, 2013
Unless your league only gets one NCAA bid or you are on the tournament bubble, conference tournaments don't carry the weight that they used to.
"I do still want to win the dadgum thing," Roy Williams told the media Monday as he prepares his Tar Heels for the ACC Tournament.
The Heels enter as the third seed and will open play in the 9:30 game Friday night against Clemson or Florida State. Carolina had a 3-0 record against the Tigers and Noles combined.
After that, Carolina could face a rematch with Duke just one week after the Blue Devils beat the Heels by 16. Tar Heel players said about how they got away from the formula that led to the six-game winning streak that they took into the Duke game.
From my viewpoint at the game, they let Duke's early success get to them. You could see it in their body language, and that was something we saw from the Heels early in the year.
But Williams feels this team, with what they have been through, is better equipped to respond to losses and adversity.
It's a tough draw that Carolina would have to play Duke in the ACC semifinals. The Blue Devils have beaten the Heels twice this season and Mason Plumlee has had a field day in both games. He is a combined 16 for 28 shooting, scoring 18 and 23 points. Plumlee has also pulled down 24 rebounds in the two wins.
Does Carolina have the horses to win the ACC tournament? Absolutely. Especially if they could find a way to make it to Sunday and if their opponent is Miami or Virginia, Greensboro will turn light blue. If the Tar Heels were to face NC State in the ACC title game, they would have the advantage of an extra day's rest, facing a Wolfpack team playing their fourth straight day.