When the preseason ACC media poll was released, the Florida State Seminoles were picked to finish ninth. Ninth was a little low, but with so many talented college basketball teams in the ACC, ninth seemed like it might be a decent position. However, Florida State has proven time and time again that it is not and will not be the ninth best team in the ACC.
Losing their first ACC game to a vengeful Virginia Cavaliers squad coming off a 35 point loss to the Tennessee Volunteers, the Seminoles took on another of the most surprising teams in the ACC, the 10 – 4 Clemson Tigers, who were picked to finish 13th in the conference. Dominating the Tigers, Florida State was helped from the bench by Ian Miller and Aaron Thomas, who scored 15 and 10 points respectively, en route to a 56 – 41 victory.
Florida State finds ways to win games. When its starters aren’t stepping up, bench players will. However, if FSU is to sneak into the 2014 NCAA Tournament, it is going to need to not only win games against the teams that it is supposed to, but beat some upper level ACC teams, as well.
As crazy as it sounds for the team picked to finish ninth in the ACC, it could easily pull off a few upsets against top ACC teams. In non-conference play, FSU defeated the then-No. 10 VCU Rams, lost to then-No. 14 Michigan Wolverines by two in overtime, lost the No. 10 Florida Gators by one, defeated the Charlotte 49ers and defeated the then-No. 22 Massachusetts Minutemen.
A non-conference resume like that not only puts it in position to pull off major upsets in the ACC, but places it in position for a 2014 NCAA Tournament berth. Don’t sleep on Florida State, because if it upsets one team like the Duke Blue Devils, North Carolina Tar Heels or Syracuse Orange, it may make it all the way to March Madness.