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Florida State advances to ACC final with win over Duke

Mar 11, 2012 - 1:22 AM Atlanta, GA (Sports Network) - Michael Snaer led a balanced Seminole offensive attack with 16 points as No. 17 Florida State edged No. 6 Duke, 62-59, in an ACC Tournament semifinal.

Bernard James netted 13 points and seven rebounds and eight players scored for the third-seeded Seminoles (23-9), who advanced to the ACC tourney final for just the second time.

FSU will play top-seeded No. 4 North Carolina in Sunday's championship game. UNC's loss to Florida State on January 14 was one of only four defeats for the Tar Heels this season.

"We want to kind of change the culture and make it something of significance," Seminoles guard Luke Loucks said. "We want to be something the fans can get excited for and I think we've done that. We're not satisfied, we still haven't gotten a championship that we all hoped for, tomorrow we'll have an opportunity to do that."

Unanimous ACC rookie of the year Austin Rivers led all scorers with 17 points and Seth Curry contributed 13 for the second-seeded Blue Devils (27-6), who lost in the ACC Tournament for the first time since 2008.

Rivers and Curry each had a chance to tie with a three-pointer in the final seconds, but both attempts rimmed out.

After leading throughout much of the first half and taking a 33-31 advantage into intermission, Florida State appeared to be pulling away early in the second, beginning the frame on a 10-2 run to take a 10 point lead.

But Duke answered with a 7-2 spurt and continued fighting, slowly chipping away until it took a 54-53 lead, its first since the 1:01 mark of the first half.

James responded with a dunk, but Rivers' three-point play put the Blue Devils up two.

Snaer answered with a long trey, and the score remained 58-57 for over two minutes, until the fifth foul on Duke's Mason Plumlee put Loucks on the line. He nailed both attempts.

On the ensuing Blue Devils possession, Rivers split two defenders at the top of the key and drove for a fancy finger roll layup.

Leading 60-59 and with the ball, Loucks dribbled near the arc until the shot clock ran into single digits, then pulled up and drained a long two-point jumper.

Rivers' highly contested three-point attempt hit the right rim and went out of bounds off Duke. Curry was able to steal the inbounds pass and heave up a shot from just inside midcourt, but it rolled around the rim before falling out as the buzzer sounded.

"I credit Florida State," Rivers said. "They came out and played great. They were very physical and they won the game."

Game Notes

Duke, entering the game shooting 38 percent from beyond the arc, made 5-of-20 three-point attempts (25 percent)...Duke's Miles Plumlee finished with 11 rebounds...The programs had split the season series 1-1.