One of the Atlantic Coast Conference’s regular-season champions will not take home the postseason crown.
No. 2 Virginia lost for just the third time this season, falling to No. 13 Florida State 69-59 in the ACC tournament semifinals.
Leonard Hamilton’s Seminoles, who are seeking their first conference tournament title since 2012, used a lights-out shooting performance to upend the stingy Cavaliers. Florida State shot 56.5 percent from the field.
David Nichols led Florida State in scoring with 14 points off the bench. Fellow senior Phil Cofer joined him in double figures with 11 while Trent Forrest added 10 and Mfiondu Kabengele 10.
A Virginia team that is normally great behind the arc (it entered tied for second in the nation at .416 percentage from 3) struggled, hitting just 5 of its 24 shots from 3-point range (20.8 percent).
De’Andre Hunter and Kyle Guy led the way for the Hoos with 13 and 11 points, respectively. Ty Jerome finished with 10.
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Virginia (29-3) split the regular-season ACC title with No. 3 North Carolina (though the Cavs claimed the No. 1 ACC tournament seed), and its only two prior losses came against No. 2 Duke. Still, for a program looking to overcome last year’s historic 1 vs. 16 loss to UMBC in the NCAA tournament, failing to reach the conference title game won’t help perceptions.
Virginia still seems a good bet for a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament, however, especially in light of Gonzaga’s West Coast Conference title game loss.
Florida State (27-6) is looking to cap an excellent three-year run with an ACC title. It awaits the winner of Duke and UNC in the title game.