In something of a confrontation through negation, yesterday's UNC-FSU game allowed us to compare the top vote-getters for ACC Player of the Year. Lawson won the award, of course, while FSU's Toney Douglas finished second, one place ahead of Tyler Hansbrough. How do we assess Lawson and Douglas' respective merits in this game?
On Lawson's side: He sits, UNC loses. There's evidence of his value. Then there's FSU, which needed every one of Douglas' 27 points and 38 minutes to knock off the Heels. Considering that UNC likely would have won if Danny Green had shot poorly instead of disastrously (say, 3-12 instead of 1-12), it seems that Douglas wins this round of most-valuableness.
At 1:30 this afternoon, Douglas takes his Seminoles into battle against the Blue Devils, who seem to be angling for a No. 1 seed now with all the weekend upsets elsewhere in the country.
Adam Sobsey writes in his earlier post:
Coach K knows his team’s strength: shoot three-pointers. As long as his guys have the wind and legs to do that, they have a good chance to win again today, so look for another walk-it-up affair against the Seminoles. But who’s going to stop Toney Douglas for Duke?
And Besha Rodell is still filing from courtside. An unabashed UNC fan, Rodell senses widespread disappointment among the press corps about the prospect of an FSU-Duke final:
OK, that's a mean headline ("Florida State ruins ACC Tournament"), but this is a true story: as the reporters filed into the press conference room after UNC fell to Florida State this afternoon, you could feel the disappointment in the air. UNC have a reputation for being media darlings, and I'm here to tell you it's true. When FSU coach Leonard Hamilton stepped up to the stage to answer questions about his win, one reporter beside me lent in to his friend and said under his breath, "Hey coach, do you think you ruined the tournament?"