The Duke Blue Devils and North Carolina Tar Heels came into this season as the prohibitive favorites to win the ACC. Sure Virginia has played pretty well. The Cavaliers even nearly won at Duke, but I’m not sure anyone was considering them a threat to win the ACC just yet. Florida State had a monster blowout last week against North Carolina, but come on this team lost by 20 at Clemson and had losses to Harvard, and Princeton.
The Noles were getting better and would probably even get to the NCAAs, but win the ACC? Nah, not after their game with Duke Saturday which would put them 2 full games behind the Blue Devils. That’s not exactly the way it turned out.
Florida State went into Cameron Indoor Stadium where Duke had won more than 40 games in a row, and left with stirring 76-73 victory. The win has Florida State atop the ACC standings with a 4-1 conference record, tied with Duke who still has to travel to Tallahassee. In 7 days the Noles knocked off North Carolina, Duke and throw in Maryland for good measure, and suddenly Florida State may be the team to beat in the ACC.
Is it premature to say that? Maybe, but no ACC team is playing better at the moment. Florida State is a physical veteran team that plays some of the best defense in the country. When they can some get scoring from the perimeter FSU becomes very difficult to beat.
They shot 50% from 3-point range against Duke and 44% against North Carolina in the same category. When you look down the schedule, you won’t find a game that Florida State shouldn’t be favored in until February 18th when they go on the road to NC State. There is home game on February 4th against Virginia, but the Cavs will still be without starting center Assane Sene.
When you win at the ACC’s most hostile environment your expectations change and the perception of your team changes. The win over North Carolina got Florida State into the NCAA tournament picture. The win over Duke made Florida State a legitimate ACC Title contender.