How About an ACC Finals Live Blog


One hour away, folks. Duke vs. Florida State, Part III. While the ACC title don’t mean what it use to, don’t tell these two teams it’s not important. Today should be a tough one for the Blue Devils, especially if the refs let the game get out of hand like yesterday’s battle with Maryland (19 free throw attempts in the first 39 minutes). The Seminoles are a big, physical team and Duke will have to win this one on the perimeter.

The trick on defense for Duke is simple, stop Tony Douglas. Actually, it’s not that simple and so far, Duke hasn’t done that (43 points in two games). However, look for Elliot Williams to be all over Douglas, forcing the ball to others. If Florida State is going to beat Duke, make Tony’s teammates do it.


They keep reminding us Duke has 16 ACC Tournament Titles and Florida State has none. It’s probably the most pointless stat and has nothing to do with this game.

15:25 DUKE DOWN 9-8. Lance Thomas being aggressive early. Good news. He didn’t play the last time these two met. He’s not making them, but they need him to at least be a threat to score. So far, Scheyer coming up big. A three, a steal and a assist. Bullsh*t call on Thomas. He was standing his ground and Douglas threw his body at Lance. Good move by Coach to get our seven-footer to go against their seven-footer. Also, great drive by Scheyer. Sure Alabi will get some blocks, but let’s see if he can avoid foul trouble. He can’t block shots sitting on the bench.

11:37 DUKE UP 12-11. Miss opportunities in the last four minutes; missing after offensive rebounds, missing on a fast break. Someone needs to explain to me how Tony Douglas is getting open looks from the three-point line. He scored seven of State’s 11 points. Make someone else beat you! So far, things look good. Henderson has found his stroke, hitting long range shots. Singler has yet to find his offensive groove (0-2 from three), but Duke still is up one thanks to some solid defense.

9:42 DUKE UP 17-11. The Devils are on an 8-0 run. Henderson is perfect from the floor; hitting 3-3 all long range. So far for State, Douglas and Alabi have taken seven of their 11 shots and have made all five of their made baskets.

7-:07 Duke up 29-14. The game is indoors, but it’s raining threes (sorry, a little cheesy). Duke has hit five straight. The Devils 20-3 run changes the game midway through the second half. And just like that, Singler has 11 points. The Seminoles getting frustrated, picking up stupid fouls (three straight possessions). Duke’s big three (Henderson, Scheyer and Singler have all 29 points).

6:36 Duke up 29-14. The two teams have combined for 43 points, but only six total players on the two teams have scored. I was a little worried about fatigue, but Duke looks pretty damn fresh. It appears Duke’s best lineup is with Zoubek and Nolan Smith inserted into the lineup with the big three.

3:31 DUKE UP 33-16. Duke’s gotten a little cold coming out of the last TV timeout, but Nolan Smith took care of that with two extremely aggressive drives. If three’s stop falling, that’s what you do. Nolan looks back, and just like that the Blue Devils have four scorers on the floor. The key though is defense. Florida State is shooting an awful 23% to Duke’s 48%. Duke is also out-rebounding them (13-11). The Seminoles are only winning the free throw battle; 8-2 in attempts.

A bullsh*t call on the over-the-back. The Seminoles have three times gone over a Duke player’s back and didn’t get the call. Duke has been called for 10 fouls to the Noles five.

HALFTIME DUKE UP 35-21. After a solid start from three, 7-10, Duke has cooled off missing their last four. In fact, Duke struggled in their offense in the last 3:43, hitting only one shot. Luckily, their defense has been amazing. Florida State hit only one basket in the final twelve minutes of the half (unfortunately they hit six free throws). As for shutting down Douglas, no issue so far. The stud point guard is 2-9 from the floor (both threes). Again, the only reason the Seminoles aren’t down 20 is the free throw difference. Florida State has taken 12 to Duke’s three.

Nolan Smith has four (both on great drives) giving Duke a desperately needed fourth scorer. However, Elliot needs to not be afraid to shoot. He took two shots (one was a drive into traffic, the other a offensive rebound).

Even though Duke is holding the Noles to 21% from the floor, the stat I can’t believe the most is rebounding. Duke actually leads 22-18. Hell, Lance Thomas has eight boards, six of which are offensive. If you’re a Florida State fan, that has to make you sick. The Seminoles’ roster is nothing but trees, yet the smaller Duke team is grabbing more boards. If Duke can maintain these numbers, FSU ain’t coming back.

15:43 DUKE UP 42-21. It’s Henderson vs. Douglas in the first few minutes. However, the big story is, where the hell is the defense? Florida State is 4-5 from the floor to start the half (three by Tony Douglas). They made five shots in the entire first half. It’s time for a little face time with Coach K.

15:33 DUKE STILL UP 42-21. So far Henderson has taken all the shots, but one (by Singler). They can’t relax. The Seminoles are experienced at second half comebacks. Just ask Clemson. It’s time to double up Duglas. If they are going to comeback, Florida State will need to do it with other people. Now do it!

Two offensive rebounds and zero points. Com on.

12:07 DUKE UP 42-34. What the hell? State has outscored Duke by eight in the second half. No one has done anything except Henderson, who is trying too hard to do everything. Singler has missed eight straight shots dating back to the first half.

10:59 DUKE UP 45-38. Jon Scheyer finally says, enough. He nails a three and then gets fouled shooting a three (free throws coming up). Still, the problem is defense. Florida State is 7-9 in the second half, including three 3’s. Kyle Singler, who has played every single minute, has gone cold. Maybe a little rest will do him some good. The Seminoles have also grabbed four more rebounds in the second half. Duke has still only taken three free throws for the game. Henderson needs to start taking this inside and getting to the line.

7:17 DUKE UP 62-43. And just like that, Duke takes control of the game. Duke goes on a 9-0 run, thanks to a total team effort; Scheyer, Henderson, Smith and Singler all scoring in this run.

6:12 DUKE UP 65-43. The difference? Florida State has 12 turnovers to Duke’s two. You read that right. After 33 minutes of basketball, Duke has turned the ball over only twice, both on offensive fouls. The turnovers difference (plus five more offensive rebounds) has given Duke 17 more shots than the Noles.

3:54 DUKE UP 65-41. Florida State bringing the full-court press. Duke’s done a decent job bringing it up, but have done nothing once they do. Since the full court press, Florida State has gone a 8-0 run. Henderson’s free throw troubles continue. He’s 2-4 from the line, but his two misses both came on the front end of a one-and-one. Scheyer then commits Duke’s third turnover (all three on offensive fouls).

Duke has committed four fouls in the last two minutes, with 3:41 to go.

2:17 DUKE UP 69-56. It’s over. Too much for the Seminoles to overcome, but FSU is sure trying. They’ve gone a 10-4 run, thanks to Duke missing free throws.