After a trio of heartbreaking losses to UVA, Virginia Tech, and Maryland, and with the Tigers sitting at 3-6 in the ACC, most of us had accepted the fact that we were in for a long year, and most Tiger fans weren't expecting more than 5 or 6 wins in the ACC. And pretty much no one thought we had any chance at all at a winning conference record. Fast forward 6 games and your 8-7 Tigers are one upset away from an improbable winning conference record.
We will have to play an amazing game if we want to knock of the Seminoles. Yes, we beat this team by 20 in Littlejohn, but this Florida State team is very, very talented. They knocked off Duke at Cameron Indoor and gave North Carolina a 33-point spanking in Tallahassee.
Yes, the 'Noles are locked into the 3 seed for the ACC tournament, but 4 of the team's starters will be playing on their home court for the final time, so I don't think motivation will be a factor.
The 'Noles have a tall and talented front court in Bernard James, Xavier Gibson and company, but FSU's biggest threat comes from outside the arc, as Michael Snaer and Deividas Dulkys both shoot over 37% from 3. And Snaer is one of the most clutch players in the conference. He hit a buzzer beater to beat Duke, and also hit the game winner against Virginia Tech. And he's not the only one that can hit the clutch 3 for the 'Noles. In FSU's most recent game, sophomore Ian Miller nailed a buzzer beater too.
Our interior defense is very, very solid, and we are forcing as many steals as anyone in the country right now, and Tanner and Andre actually are competing for the ACC steals crown. But our perimeter defense often leaves guys wide open on the perimeter. Just last Thursday, Virginia Tech converted 8 of 16 3-point shots. This defensive weakness doesn't math up well with Florida State's high powered outside attack.
The Tigers are facing an uphill battle in this game. Yes, we have won 5 of our last 6 games, but 3 of those wins were at home, and the two road wins were in Atlanta and Winston-Salem. A win in Tallahassee would be by far our best road win of the year.
The game tips at noon on ESPN2. Mike Patrick and Len Elmore have the call.
ACC tournament seeding scenarios and the 'Noles' starting lineup can be found after the jump.
With Miami's dominating win over BC yesterday, our chance at a 4 seed and first round bye in the ACC tournament is now gone. But a win today gives us a season sweep of the Seminoles, a winning record in the ACC, and also betters our chances of getting a 5 seed in the ACC tournament.
Our seed will be determined by the outcomes of the last 3 games of the ACC regular season. Our game, with its noon tip off, is the first of the day. The outcomes of the 2 o'clock Virginia @ Maryland game and the 6 o'clock NC State @ VT game also help to determine our seeding.
The tournament seeding scenarios for the Tigers:
5 seed with a win AND a Virginia win AND an N.C. State win
5 seed with a win AND a Virginia loss
5 seed with a loss AND a Virginia loss AND an N.C. State loss
6 seed with a win AND a Virginia win AND an N.C. State loss
6 seed with a loss AND a Virginia win AND an N.C. State loss
6 seed with a loss AND a Virginia loss AND an N.C. State win
7 seed with a loss AND a Virginia win AND an N.C. State win
Seminoles' Projected Starting Lineup:
#21 Michael Snaer 6-5, 200 junior G
#5 Bernard James 6-10, 240 senior F
#3 Luke Loucks 6-5, 200 senior G
#4 Deividas Dulkys 6-5, 195 senior G
#1 Xavier Gibson 6-11, 250 senior F/C