CHARLOTTE—The quality of play hasn't been at the same level as it was in last night's legendary semifinal against North Carolina, but Duke has gritted its way and is tied 36-36 against Florida State in the ACC championship. Here are five observations from the first half.

Player of the half: Zion Williamson

Despite only attempting seven shots, Williamson's size has made an impact for the third straight day in Charlotte, particularly when 7-foot-4 big man Christ Koumadje was on the bench for the majority of the half. His absence on the floor allowed Williamson to gain position in the post for a dunk early, and the 6-foot-7 freshman also served as a rim protector on defense. He leads the Blue Devils with 12 points.

Drawing contact

Duke has been aggressive driving to the basket and earned several opportunities at the free-throw line in particular. Cam Reddish in particular has had an attacking mindset, a far cry from his passive first two games in this tournament, and he has knocked down all four of his free throws. The Blue Devils are 9-of-11 at the line as a team.

Ice cold from deep

Duke and Florida State combined to miss their first seven 3-point attempts, struggling to find a big play to create any separation in the first 10 minutes. Four different Blue Devils took their first four shots from beyond the arc, all misses, and Duke is 1-of-9 at the break from long distance. The Seminoles ended up heating up, knocking down three straight triples to build a eight-point advantage in the middle of the half.

Where's the big man?

Koumadje was effective offensively for the first four minutes with two dunks, but committed a single foul on a Williamson drive and hasn't been heard from since. Perhaps Florida State head coach Leonard Hamilton is saving up his energy and fouls for the second half or simply feels that his team needs a more mobile lineup to handle the Blue Devils defensively.

Early jitters for both sides

Much of the first half was sloppy with several unforced errant passes sailing out of bounds or into the hands of the opposition. One Duke inbounds pass from Williamson on the baseline went untouched straight to Trent Forrest, resulting in a Seminole bucket. Another bad inbounds pass by Barrett created a fast break that turned into a 3-point play on a Mfiondu Kabengele dunk. The two squads have combined for 15 giveaways overall, with a couple of Florida State turnovers sparking an 8-0 run for the Blue Devils to tie it up at 27.