Goodbye, Tobacco Road. The Atlantic Coast Conference championship is heading to the Sunshine State.
Tournament MVP Michael Snaer scored 18 points and 17th-ranked Florida State used a barrage of 3-pointers to beat No. 4 North Carolina 85-82 for the ACC championship on Sunday. Nearly at the same time, No. 1 Kentucky was shocked by Vanderbilt 81-74 in the SEC tournament final.
Florida State (24-9 ), which joined the ACC in 1991, won the men's basketball crown for the first time, showing its 33-point blowout of the Tar Heels during the regular season was no fluke.
But this one went to the wire, as North Carolina (29-5 ) nearly came all the way back from a 16-point deficit in the first half. P.J. Hairston missed a tying 3 at the buzzer.
Florida State hit 11 of 22 from 3-point range, which turned out to be the difference. North Carolina went 5 of 20 from beyond the arc, including Kendall Marshall potential game-winning shot with 5 seconds to go. Harrison Barnes led North Carolina with 23 points, while Tyler Zeller had 19 points and 12 rebounds.
It was only the second time in the last 16 years that a team other than North Carolina or Duke has won the ACC tournament. This one went to a school best known for football and its haunting chant.
Kendall Marshall hit a 3-pointer with 30.1 seconds remaining to pull North Carolina within 83-82, and the Tar Heels had a chance to go for the win after Okaro White's 1-and-1 free throw clanked off the side of the rim.
Instead of pounding the ball inside, a wide-open Marshall elected to put up another trey with five seconds left. This one missed, the Seminoles rebounded and North Carolina quickly fouled.
Marshall, who nearly had his third straight double-double of the tournament with 15 points and nine assists, tugged at his jersey with head down as he headed back down the court.
After Deividas Dulkys hit two free throws to make it 85-82, Zeller inbounded to Hairston at midcourt and he quickly called a timeout. Only six-tenths of a second went off the clock, and North Carolina inbounded again from a more favorable position. Hairston got a decent look at the tying shot, a long, straight-on 3. But it bounced off the side of the rim.
In New Orleans, Jeffery Taylor scored 18 points, Jenkins added 17 and Vanderbilt rallied with a 16-2 run over the final five minutes to end the Wildcats' 24-game winning streak that lasted more than three months.
"Their 24 game winning streak. Their name on the front of their jersey doesn't matter to us," Vanderbilt's Lance Goulbourne said. "Whoever was in our way, we were going to play as hard as we could to try to win that championship."
Festus Ezeli also had 17 points for Vanderbilt (24-10 ), which was playing in its first SEC tournament final since 1951, the year of its only other championship.
The Commodores pushed ahead in the final minutes with a few timely shots, but mostly with suffocating defense.
Want to enjoy 'Zen' reading - with no ads and just the article? Subscribe todaySubscribe now