GAME NOTES: Second-round action in the ACC Tournament gets underway on Thursday afternoon, as the eighth-seeded Maryland Terrapins square off with the ninth-seeded Florida State Seminoles at Greensboro Coliseum.
The winner of this game will move into the quarterfinals and take on top- seeded Virginia.
Leonard Hamilton's Seminoles got off to a strong start this year with a solid showing in non-conference play, but that was wiped out by inconsistent showings in the ACC, resulting in a mere 9-9 league ledger, made possible by wins in four of FSU's last six games.
Mark Turgeon was tasked with leading Maryland through its last season in the ACC and unfortunately for the fan base in College Park, it was a rather bland endeavor. The Terrapins took UConn to the brink in the season-opener (78-77 loss) and closed out the campaign with a huge overtime win against ACC champion Virginia (75-69), but there just weren't enough highlights in between, as Maryland finished up the regular season at 17-14 overall and 9-9 in the ACC.
Maryland, which is 4-0 all-time against Florida State in the ACC Tournament, also holds a 30-14 edge in the all-time series. The teams split a pair of games in the regular season, each winning on its home floor.
Defense has never really been a problem under Hamilton's watchful eye and this year was no different, with the Seminoles ranking sixth in the conference in scoring defense (65.9 ppg) and second in field-goal percentage defense (.397). The team didn't put any player in the top 10 in scoring in the ACC, but three Seminoles finished in the top 20. Aaron Thomas led the way with 14.1 ppg (14th in the ACC), while Ian Miller (16th at 13.7 ppg) and Okaro White (19th at 13.3 ppg) were also effective. White was named to the All-ACC Defensive Team and Miller was tabbed as the ACC's Sixth Man of the Year.
At just over 71 points per game, Maryland had adequate scoring depth, thanks to a quartet of double-digit threats. Third-Team All-ACC selection Dez Wells led the charge for Maryland, averaging 14.8 ppg. The junior guard is no stranger to stepping up in the postseason, garnering First-Team All-ACC Tournament honors a year ago. Seth Allen missed a long stretch of games, but has returned to the lineup without missing a beat at 13.2 ppg. Jake Layman and Evan Smotrycz round out the top threats with 11.6 and 11.0 ppg, respectively.
FSU won its first and only ACC Tournament crown in 2012, while Maryland boasts of three tournament titles, with the last coming in 2004. Navigating the tournament field this season will be difficult for either team. The Terps however, have a little more versatility and should be able to move on.
Game Date and Time