Florida State has a legitimate chance to win today if the Seminoles can get a fairly officiated game. The Seminoles are long and athletic and are the type of team that can give Duke fits – especially with Toney Douglas’ advantage in the back court.
Of course, we all know how big of an “IF” that officiating comment can be; but, given the controversies that the ACC continues to bring upon themselves related to officiating games with teams that wear blue, the Noles could be a great position.
FSU has never played in the ACC Championship game and join Clemson and the other (newer) three expansion programs as the only schools to have never won an ACC Championship. You can click here for a full list of previous Atlantic Coast Conference Champions.
Please allow me to direct your attention to the fantastic ACC Tournament preview that BJD posted last week. Pretty damn insightful, eh?
4. Florida State
Realistic Chance to Win? Surprisingly, Yes. The Seminoles have the leagueâ€™s best player (offensively and defensively) in Toney Douglas, along with size, athleticism, and depth – all great elements for a tourney run. Defense and rebounding tend not to slump, and both are team strengths. They are playing with great confidence, and recently came within a hair of beating Duke in Cameron. Their regular season performance against likely Friday opponent Clemson was second only to UNC. I think Florida State is perfectly positioned to upset North Carolina on Saturday – not that they will be favored. They would be underdogs in the final against Duke, but playing with nothing to lose.
Toughest Obstacle(s): The weight of expectations. It has been ages since Florida State came into the ACC tournament with an NCAA bid well in hand, and a realistic shot to cut down the nets. Leonard Hamilton scuffled on the periphery of breaking through for many years, and Iâ€™m not convinced that heâ€™s ready to complete the leap just yet. One also worries about the lack of a real secondary scorer. Still, the Noles feel like last yearâ€™s Clemson to me.