ACC Fans Guide to the ACC Tournament: Championship Game Notes
March 11, 2012
Courtesy of Barry Jacobs
• Florida State advanced to the ACC Tournament finals for the second time in four years. FSU also reached the championship game in 2009 at the Georgia Dome, where it was defeated by Duke. Those are the program's only two title game appearances.
• The loss by Duke ended its streak of winning three consecutive ACC Tournaments, which tied for second best in the history of the event. The Blue Devils' five straight championships from 1999-2003 remains the standard.
• North Carolina and Florida State have previously met five times in the ACC Tournament, with the Tar Heels holding a 4-1 edge. FSU's sole win came in their most recent clash in the 2009 semifinals.
• FSU is the fourth ACC expansion team to reach the finals.
• Five different African-American head coaches have taken seven teams to the ACC Tournament championship game since 2005. None came away with a title. Florida State's Leonard Hamilton is making his second try. Paul Hewitt also reached the title game twice at Georgia Tech (2005, 2010). Al Skinner got Boston College there in 2006, Sidney Lowe took Clemson to the final in 2007 with NC State, and Oliver Purnell got Clemson to the championship contest in 2006.
• North Carolina rallied to victory from a halftime deficit for the 22nd time in ACC Tournament action. Last year the Tar Heels twice rallied after being behind at halftime, their 10-point comeback against Clemson their best in the history of the tournament. This was the third time UNC overcame a halftime deficit to win against NC State, after the 1977 semifinals at Greensboro and the 1985 semifinals at The Omni in Atlanta.
• With 10 assists against NC State, North Carolina's Kendall Marshall has 45 career assists in five ACC Tournament games. That ties him for fifth place with UNC's Jimmy Black, who had that number in 10 games from 1979 through 1982. Marshall's overall tournament average of nine assists per outing is the best among the event's career leaders and not far off his season average of 9.7.
• Marshall has 22 assists in two games in the 2012 ACC Tournament. The individual record for the event is 29 in three games by North Carolina's Ed Cota in 1999. Cota, a junior at the time, had nine against Georgia Tech, nine against Maryland, and 11 against Duke in the championship game in a losing effort.
• Two of the dozen ACC head coaches hail from the conference's current geographical footprint. Both are native North Carolinians in their early sixties. Both have teams in the championship game - FSU's Hamilton and UNC's Roy Williams.
• North Carolina is going for its 18th title and third in Roy Williams' nine seasons as head coach. Should the Tar Heels win, Williams would tie NC State's Norman Sloan and Georgia Tech's Bobby Cremins for the fifth-most championships by an ACC coach. The leaders, with 13 each, are UNC's Dean Smith and Duke's Mike Krzyzewski. Tied for third with four each are NC State's Everett Case and Duke's Vic Bubas.
• Florida State won its first two games in the 2012 ACC Tournament by an average margin of 7.0 points. North Carolina won its first two by a 9.0-point margin. Last year's champion, Duke, enjoyed a 15.7-point average edge over three games.
• FSU and UNC each have a single player averaging more than 30 minutes per game this season - Michael Snaer (30.8) and Kendall Marshall (32.8), respectively. During the ACC Tournament Snaer is averaging 34.5 minutes and Marshall 32.5.
• Tyler Zeller's disqualification against NC State in the semifinals was only the third for a Tar Heel all season. Zeller has fouled out twice and Marshall once. FSU has had 13 players earn disqualification. Last year Boston College led the ACC with three DQs as a team.
• The last (and only) time Florida State beat UNC twice in a season was 1992, its first in the ACC. The last time North Carolina beat FSU twice in a season was 2011.
• This is the fourth appearance each in the ACC Tournament championship game for officials Les Jones and Bryan Kersey. The other member of the crew, Roger Ayers, is making his second appearance in the final. The active ACC official with the most title game appearances is Karl Hess, with nine.