Florida St. vs. Clemson Live Blog, ACC Tournament 2007
Posted by Mike on March 8, 2007
Today, Florida State plays Clemson is this first of eleven games that will be liveblogged on Digital Headbutt and on Tar Heel Mania. As far as I know, this the first time liveblogging an entire conference tournament has been attempted. For a preview of each team and their chances of winning, see my ACC Tournament Preview. You won’t find a preview on TV; it’s been pre-empted by “The Price is Right.” How am I supposed to concentrate on basketball when an 87-year old lady just won a pick-up truck? She will become a menace to us all! But I digress…Both of the teams are fighting for at at-large bid in the NCAA tournament, and the loser is almost certainly headed to the NIT. I would pick Florida State because of their gamebreaker, Al Thornton.
12:08 pm: Oh s—, it’s Billy Packer! Run for your lives! He wants to kill me after I have mocked him so. Listen good: don’t pay attention to anything he says.
12:10 pm: 3-2, Clemson. Jason Rich gets the first basket of the game, but Cliff Hammonds hits an open three off a great screen.
12:11 pm: 5-4, Clemson. Vernon Hamilton forces a turnover, and he gets an easy layup on the other end. But the Tigers don’t get back on defense, and Echefu makes an easy inside shot of his own.
12:13 pm: 6-5, FSU. Florida State takes the lead back, as it’s Echefu, not Thornton, who shows his range early with a 16-foot jumper. Jerel Allen hits the Seminoles’ first three to make it 9-5, FSU.
12:15 pm: 9-8, FSU. This is first and perhaps the only time I’m going to say this name. A.J. Tyler hits a three for Clemson to reduce the lead to 1.
12:19 pm: What the hell kind of shot was that, Hammonds? This games now has 7 turnovers in 5 minutes.
12:20 pm: 11-9, Clemson. The Tigers are now 3-3 from beyond the arc as Hammonds redeems himself from that last play. Seriously, he hit the scaffolding behind the basket.
12:22 pm: 13-11, FSU. Florida State takes the lead, as Thornton emphatically gets his firstbasket of the game.
12:23 pm: 13-13. See, this is why the tournament should not have been in Tampa. This is perhaps the most intriguing game of the day, and the TV shows so many empty seats and the stadium seems so quiet. Even though this has become such an exciting game (17-15 FSU, as both teams are shooting lights out), the crowd can;t seem to get too excited. There’s so much more excitement in Greensboro. Or maybe this is only since the ACC expanded to 12 teams.
12:24 pm: 18-17, Clemson. I think the Tigers have still yet to miss from three. This is shaping up to be a really exciting game. So why am I yawning?
12:28 pm: Correction: Clemson is 4-5 from 3-point range. But still.
12:29 pm: 22-17, Clemson. The Tigers, in particular James Mays, are strting to show some really good defense, and that’s leading to some very good offensive opportunities.
12:30 pm: Mays has so far neutralized Thornton, and he’s is already in foul trouble. The Seminoles cannot afford to lose him.
12:32 pm: 24-17, Clemson. Clemson ins continuing to shoot the ball well, and is starting to play good defense. If not for the turnovers, they might be running away with this game.
12:33 pm: 24-19. Clemson. Thornton takes off the headband, gets back on the court, and immediately drains a 20-footer.
12:34 pm: 26-19, Clemson. FSU did a really bad job of boxing out for the rebound, and Booker takes advantage. Clemson has been running the full court press since about the second TV timeout, and the ‘Noles seems to be really fazed by it.
12:37 pm: 26-22, Clemson. Thornton gets three the hard way. Clemson has switched to zone.
12:38 pm: 26-24, Clemson. Jason Rich runs right through the zone and gets another easy layup.
12:40 pm: 28-27, Clemson. Isaiah Swann hits a three to cut the lead to 1. With the exception of a goaltending, the ‘Noles have scored the last 8 points.
12:42 pm: 31-30, FSU. Thornton is finally coming alive in this game. He hits a three to tie this game, and is attacking the basket. He now has 12.
But just as he’s shooting free throws, he has to temporarily leave the court, bleeding from the collision that sent him to the foul line. He returns, but the momentum may be gone, as he misses the second free throw.
12:44 pm: 33-30, FSU. The Seminoles are picking this zone apart. Clemson will need to go back to the full pressure in the second half.
12:48 pm: 34-33, Clemson. The Tigers take back the lead by attacking the inside.
12:50 pm: 36-35, Clemson. We have our first sighting of K.C. Rivers. He hits his first shot of the game to give the lead back to Clemson.
12:52 pm: 38-36, FSU. Thornton hits a wide open three to end the first half and give the Seminoles the lead going into the locker room. He now has 18. This has really turned out to be a very exciting game. It’s too bad several thousands of fans, with tickets to the event, are missing it. This is why the tournament should be in Greensboro. To win in the second half, both of these teams will need to cut down on turnovers, play more aggressive defense, and stay out of foul trouble. Bring on the mascots!
1:07 pm: Amazing. No bizarre ads yet.
Just thought you should know: Clemson has one of the best fight songs.
1:12 pm: 40-38, FSU. Both teams attack the inside and get easy layups from their guards to start the second half.
1:15 pm: 42-41, FSU. Cliff Hammonds hits another three. He now has 16, and the Tigers are 5-7 for 3-point range.
1:16 pm: 44-43, FSU. Booker dunks off of a turnover to give Clemson the lead, but Echefu immediately gives it back to the ‘Noles.
Both of these teams are suddenly playing very sloppy, giving up turnovers. Echefu picks up his third foul.
1:20 pm: 46-45, FSU. You know this game is going at a fast pace when the referee pulls a hamstring.
1:22 pm: David Potter must be a pothead. Because he was handed the ball, and he simply stood still and dropped it out of bounds.
1:23 pm: 48-47, FSU. Trevor Booker cannot stop Al Thornton. Al Thornton cannot stop Trevor Booker. Surely there must be a solution to this conundrum…
1:24 pm: 50-48, Clemson. …Oh, right. Clemson’s 3-point shooting.
1:25 pm: 53-50, FSU. Sykes comes in for Booker, and Florida State’s guards come alive. Jerel Allen hits an open three to take the lead back, and Jason Rich attacks the basket and gets another easy layup. There must have been at least 14 lead changes so far in this game.
1:30 pm: 53-51, FSU. What the hell is this? BASKETBALLL?!?! How can they show basketball at this time of day?!?!? “The Bold and the Beautiful” is on! I need to know who’s the father of Brooke’s baby! How can they preempt it with a stupid game? I need a drink.
1:35 pm: 55-54, Clemson. Vernon Hamilton is tearing FSU’s defense apart, driving the lane and getting two straight layups to give Clemson the lead.
1:37 pm: 56-55, FSU. Toney Douglas gives the lead back to the Seminoles. I haven;t heard much from him until the second half.
1:40 pm: 59-56, Clemson. Could someone from the Clemson faithful please tell me what IPTAY means? I’ve seen it in a lot of Clemson athletic events, but I have no idea what it is. Hamilton scores again.
1:45 pm: 60-58, Clemson. Al Thornton shows us the dying art of the midrange jumpshot.
1:46 pm: OHHHH!!! Mays makes an unbelievable block and stops an easy layup. He’s a great defender.
Just as I type that, Swann hits a three and give Florida State the lead back. I hadn’t heard from him in a while.
1:47 pm: 62-61, Clemson. K.C. Rivers is making me look really bad. I said that he was the x-factor for the Tigers as one of the conference’s best sixth man. He has only 4 so far.
1:48 pm: 64-61, Clemson, 5:00 left. Booker is now 9-9 shooting. It doesn;t hurt when all of your shots are dunks.
1:50 pm: 66-61, Clemson, 4:00 left. Rivers scores again, this time a rebound and easy putback. With FSU’s shots no longer falling, this could spell big trouble.
1:51 pm: 66-64, Clemson, 3:00 left. Just as I say that, Toney Douglas runs the fast break off a rebound and drains a wide open three.
1:55 pm: 66-66, 1:30 left. Florida State ties the game as Thornton takes matter into his own hands, driving the baseline and dunking on two defenders. Each team has only 1 timeout left, and Clemson hasn’t scored in nearly three minutes.
1:58 pm: 66-66, :50 left. The worst thing that could happen for Clemson, as K.C. Rivers commits the offensive foul. Florida State now has the ball with the chance to take the lead. I will kill my TV if Thornton doesn’t touch the ball. For once, I agree with Packer.
2:01 pm: 66-66, :09 left. Clemson brings the clock down, then blocks the shot and gets the ball back, and then Hammonds drops the ball and commits a backcourt violation. They still haven;t scored since the 4:00 mark.
2:03 pm: 66-66, :01.5 left. Thornton gets the ball, and Clemson is called for the foul. Clemson is really going to complain about that call, but but if they didn’t want to be in this situation, they should have score in the last four minutes.
2:05 pm: 67-66, FSU. Thornton misses his first, leaves us hanging, and makes his second free throw. Clemson can’t get a shot off in time, and Florida State wins 67-66. Thornton finishes with 25 points points, and and Florida State will advance to play North Carolina tomorrow. This is a big win for them and takes them one step closer to reaching the tournament. Conversely, Clemson is pretty much out of it. Very few people expected the Tigers to start the season at 17-0, but I think even fewer people expected them to have a collapse monumental enough to miss the NCAA tournament.
On to Game 2 of 11, as Maryland plays Miami.