10-Year Nole Anniversary: FSU Hoops Blasts No. 3 North Carolina, 90-57
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10-Year Nole Anniversary: FSU Hoops Blasts No. 3 North Carolina, 90-57

Long before head coach Leonard Hamilton was making Sweet 16 appearances a regularity, the Donald L. Tucker Center was a difficult place to play for highly-ranked opponents. No. 3 North Carolina found that out firsthand on this day 10 years ago.

Florida State basketball had a day to remember. Deividas Dulkys led the way for the Seminoles with 32 points as FSU walloped the Tar Heels, 90-57.

Setting the Stage

After reaching the Sweet 16 the year prior, Florida State had not gotten off to the greatest of starts. The Seminoles were 10-6 and 1-1 in ACC played as they arrived at the Tucker Center on Jan. 14, 2012. Desperate for a signature win, FSU had perhaps its best performance of the season.

At 15-2 and riding a 9-game winning streak, North Carolina arrived ranked No. 3. The Tar Heels came in leading the nation in scoring, but on that Saturday afternoon in Tallahassee, nothing went right.

Utter Domination

FSU was in control from the start. The Seminoles raced to a 9-2 lead and led by as many as 12 in the first half.

At the break, FSU enjoyed a 36-28 lead. The second half wasn’t very old when FSU turned a fairly competitive contest into a laugher.

The Seminoles opened the second half on a 30-8 run and never looked back. FSU held a potent North Carolina offense to just 37% shooting and 4-for-21 from deep.

Dulkys not only finished with a career-high 32 points, but he did so on an uber-efficient 12-for-14 shooting. The Lithuania native also went 8 of 10 from deep and came away with four steals.

Michael Snaer added 17 points in the victory while Okaro White came off the bench to finish with 12 points and 10 rebounds. As a team, FSU shot 48% and 12-for-27 from distance.

Harrison Barnes, Tyler Zeller and John Henson combined to make 16 of North Carolina’s 22 field goals. Barnes led the way with 15 points. Zeller added 14 points and 14 rebounds while Henson added 10 points and three blocks. From the foul line, Henson was 0-for-7 as the Tar Heels finished just 9-for-20 as a team from the charity stripe.

Jan. 15, 2012 story from the Tallahassee Democrat

In Hindsight

For FSU, the win was the beginning of a turnaround. The Seminoles went on to win seven straight games and finished the season with a program record 12 ACC wins. FSU went on to win its first ACC title before falling to Cincinnati in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

North Carolina bounced back to win its next five games and the ACC regular season title. The Tar Heels would fall to Kansas in the Elite Eight.

As for their trip to Tallahassee, it served as their worst loss in nine years and worst under head coach Roy Williams. The beatdown came on this day one decade ago.

References

ESPN

Mike Ferguson is the lead writer for Double Fries No Slaw. Be sure to follow Mike on Twitter at @MikeWFerguson. Follow all of Mike’s work by liking his Facebook page.

Mike Ferguson

Mike Ferguson is the lead writer for Double Fries No Slaw and has more than 10 years of experience in online and print journalism. Mike graduated from Florida State University in 2009 and has had his work featured at numerous prominent publications such as Fox Sports, the Associated Press, Athlon Sports, Yahoo Sports and Sports Illustrated among others. Prior to joining Double Fries No Slaw, Mike was the founder and editor of The Daily Nole. He also serves as the managing editor for Fifth Quarter and is a contributor for Athlon Sports, Fish Stripes and Orlando Pinstriped Post. Mike and his wife Jennifer reside in Haines City, Fla. and have two daughters.

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