Gerry Broome/Associated Press
The Florida State Seminoles will play the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets for the ACC men’s tournament championship on Saturday night.
The Seminoles clinched a berth in the title game thanks to their 69-66 win over North Carolina in the semifinal on Friday.
Georgia Tech was given an automatic berth in the championship game. Its schedule meeting with Virginia was canceled when the Cavaliers withdrew from the tournament Friday afternoon after a positive COVID-19 test within the program.
The Yellow Jackets are in the ACC tournament final for the first time since 2010. They haven’t won the event since 1993. Florida State is looking for its second straight championship after being declared the winner last year by virtue of winning the regular-season title.
The two teams last faced each other Jan. 30, with Georgia Tech the winner by 11 points.
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2021 ACC Tournament Semifinal Results
Georgia Tech advanced past No. 16 Virginia (uncontested game)
No. 15 Florida State def. North Carolina: 69-66
2021 ACC Tournament Final Schedule
Georgia Tech vs. No. 15 Florida State
Date: Saturday, March 13
Start Time: 8:30 p.m. ET
No. 15 Florida State 69, North Carolina 66
Florida State held off a second-half rally by North Carolina to earn a 69-66 win in the third meeting of the season between the ACC foes. They split the first two games, with each team winning on its home floor.
The Seminoles looked to be in complete control early. Malik Osborne’s three-point right before the halftime buzzer extended the lead to 35-24.
North Carolina didn’t even hit the 20 points until the 1:57 mark in the first half. Head coach Roy Williams’ squad entered this matchup averaging 91 points in the past three games, so the offense’s slow start was not something that seemed likely.
Osborne was terrific off the bench early, with nine points on three three-pointers in the first half. He was held scoreless in the second half.
The Tar Heels made their run early after the break, turning that 11-point deficit into a 53-48 lead midway through the second half. Florida State got back on track by scoring six straight points to go back on top by one with 8:28 left to play.
After the Seminoles took a 62-59 lead on a Sardaar Calhoun three-pointer, North Carolina used a 5-0 run—including R.J. Davis’ free throws after being fouled by Calhoun on a three-point attempt—to go back up by two points with roughly three minutes in regulation.
Florida State went scoreless for more than two minutes after Calhoun’s three until Anthony Polite put the team back on top 65-64 with a three of his own at the 2:09 mark.
The Seminoles defense tightened up down the stretch, holding North Carolina to two points on 1-of-8 shooting in the final 3:14. Day’Ron Sharpe missed two crucial free throws in the final 20 seconds with the Tar Heels trailing 67-64.
With one second remaining, North Carolina had an opportunity to tie, but the inbounds pass hit off Leaky Black’s hands and time expired.
North Carolina shot just 33.8 percent from the field and missed 14 of 25 free-throw attempts. Caleb Love (13 points), Armando Bacot (12 points) and Kerwin Walton (11 points) were the only Tar Heels who scored more than seven.
Balsa Koprivica had a double-double with 17 points and 11 rebounds for the Seminoles. Scottie Barnes was the only other Florida State player to score in double figures (11 points), but four others scored at least seven points.