CHARLOTTE -- There was no denying it.
"We are in North Carolina," Florida State's Jason Rich pointed out. "We know our fans are here, but we really weren't noticing the fan reaction."
During the Seminoles' 70-60 win over Wake Forest on Thursday in the first game of the ACC tournament, Bobcats Arena resembled a tomb. There were some Wake Forest fans trying their hardest to rally the Demon Deacons to a win, but as Florida State took late control, folks were hard-pressed to hear any cheers.
Rich and teammate Ralph Mims blamed it on the location and that Florida State came into the tournament as a ninth seed. They each said it didn't bother them, least of all Rich, who finished the game with 21 points.
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"Hey, I didn't notice," he quipped.
Mims had a more succint reaction.
"I really didn't, you know, care," he said.
• FESTIVE: Bobcats Arena dressed up its concourses, showing video highlights of past ACC tournaments and ACC superlatives.
A quick glance brought back memories of Duke's J.J. Redick sinking N.C. State in the 2003 tournament final, clinching the Blue Devils' fifth straight title, and highlights from Wake Forest's Tyrone "Muggsy" Bogues, Duke's Gene "Tinkerbell" Banks and North Carolina's Michael Jordan.
• SIMPLY THE BEST: Wake Forest still wins a consolation prize for having the most distinctive pep band. Those yellow and black tie-dyed shirts leave quite an impression.
And when did marching bands begin playing non-marching music? During just the Wake-Florida State game on Thursday, the two bands played Billy Idol's "Rebel Yell," Isaac Hayes' "Theme from 'Shaft,'" Green Day's "Holiday," two Bon Jovi selections, Garth Brooks' "Friends in Low Places" and Guns 'N' Roses' "Welcome to the Jungle."
You have not heard "Welcome to the Jungle" until you've seen a guy unleash a monster trumpet solo during the bridge.
• FIRST TIME: Clemson's Cliff Hammonds won the first Skip Prosser Award, given to the top scholar-athlete in ACC men's basketball.
Hammonds, a three-time All-ACC Academic Team selection, has a 3.21 grade-point average while double-majoring in architecture and psychology. He will become the first Tiger hoopster to graduate with an architecture degree.
The award was created after Prosser died from a heart attack last summer. Prosser put every Wake Forest senior he coached across the graduation stage and the Deacons had nine all-academic selections during his six-year tenure.
• 3-POINTERS: No seed numbered sixth or lower has ever won the ACC tournament, although three teams lower than sixth reached the finals. All of those lost to North Carolina. ... Three first-team All-ACC players played in the first round on Thursday -- Miami's Jack McClinton, Boston College's Tyrese Rice and Virginia's Sean Singletary. ... The Tar Heels have out-rebounded their opponent in 27 straight games, which is problematic for today's opponent. Florida State only beat guard-oriented Wake Forest by four in the rebounding total (31-27).