Make Your Case: Florida State SeminolesPosted by jstevrtc on March 8th, 2010
TrueCubbie of the Florida State blog Tomahawk Nation now makes the case for the Florida State Seminoles:
Having narrowly avoided disaster against the Miami Hurricanes on Sunday, Florida State will finish third in the Atlantic Coast Conference. That fact alone should equate to an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament. However, with the attention that is being paid to the Big East this year and the rise of many mid-major teams, further inspection into the Seminoles’ tournament resume is required.
The Seminoles finished their out-of-conference schedule with only two hiccups: road losses to Ohio State and Florida. The significant wins in the out-of-conference schedule include winning the Old Spice Classic with wins over Alabama and Marquette. Those wins weren’t pretty, but the Seminoles got the job done. The Old Spice Classic included the likes of Michigan, Xavier and Baylor in addition to Florida State and the opponents listed above. Chris Singleton, Florida State’s small forward, was the tournament MVP. The losses to Florida and Ohio State were two of Florida State’s worst shooting nights on the season. Given the success of Ohio State and Florida’s relative success, the losses don’t appear so bad for the Seminoles. Unfortunately, those games were nationally televised and didn’t give the casual fan the best impression of the Seminoles.
One of the key things that the Committee will look at is how Florida State stacks up against the breakdown of the RPI, meaning do they win when they are supposed to and do they fare well in tough games. Florida State is 2-2 against Top 25 teams and sit at 3-7 against RPI top 50 teams. They are an impressive 11-2 against RPI 51-100 teams. Unfortunately, they are 0-1 against teams in the RPI 101-200 range. Fortunately, they are 5-0 in games against opponents with an RPI of 200+. The Noles are 7-2 in close games and have won their only overtime game, which was against Georgia Tech on the road. Additionally, the Seminoles haven’t been blown out in many games this year. Their worst loss was a 16-point defeat to the University of Florida in Gainesville. The Seminoles also have a very nice out of conference win over Marquette. At least from the initial inspection of the Seminoles schedule, they should be in.
Florida State met expectations in out-of-conference play. How did they fare in the unpredictable ACC? As noted, they finished at 10-6, making good on the opportunity to achieve their second 10-win season in a row with the victory over Miami this weekend. Clearly, Duke and Maryland have separated themselves from the rest of the ACC. The Noles are right behind them in third. Florida State has not lost more than two games in a row in conference. In fact, they haven’t lost more than two games in a row all year. The serious black mark on the Seminoles’ resume is their loss at home to NC State. They won on the road at Boston College, Georgia Tech, Virginia and North Carolina. With the exception of the loss to NC State, Florida State has only lost to Duke, Maryland and Clemson in conference. Unfortunately, those teams swept the season series with the Noles.
All of this demonstrates that Florida State has done well against good competition, can play on the road and has a good conference record. They boast the best defense, statistically, in the nation. It would be disappointing if the team that finished third in the ACC didn’t make it into the tournament. Granted, the ACC has not been viewed as strongly as it has in the past. If people are seriously considering seven or more teams getting in from the Big East, there is no reason that Florida State can’t get in being one of the top three in the ACC. Florida State brings an interesting skill set to the tournament and makes for an interesting storyline. Meaning, Florida State isn’t a basketball school, but Leonard Hamilton has this team in position to make it’s second straight NCAA tournament appearance.