Tallahassee, FL – On this Monday night, in Tallahassee Florida, the Florida State Seminoles cemented themselves as the team to beat in the Atlantic Coast Conference. The Seminoles found themselves down by 8 at the half and down double digits in the early parts of the second. From that point on, Leonard Hamilton’s team could not do wrong. The Seminoles ended up winning the half by 23 (50-27), and the game by 15 (82-67), the team had a signature 15-0 run that turned an 8-point deficit into a 7-point lead. Senior guard Trent Forrest sealed the win with a ferocious poster dunk over the potential ACC POTY in Jordan Nwora, causing the raucous crowd in the Donald E. Tucker Arena to explode. The Seminoles were led in scoring by Forrest, who had 16 points, but the main story was the distribution of scoring that has been a constant this year and in the past with Hamilton’s team. Ryan McMahon led the Cards with 14.
After the game, Coach Hamilton sat down with reporters and was asked what changed for his team in the second half. Hamilton replied with “I thought we just turned it up with more energy, better focus. We were able to get some stops and got out and got some easy baskets.”
For Coach Chris Mack of Louisville, it was the opposite question, what exactly went wrong for the Cardinals in the second half. Mack said, “I thought we came out at halftime and set the tone the wrong way at the offensive end,” referring to the first possession of the second half that resulted in a Devin Vassell steal that built some momentum.
Should all three teams atop the ACC continue to win out, the Florida State Seminoles will win a share of the ACC regular-season title for the first time in the program’s history. Nonetheless, all three teams remain in the hunt. The Noles will play there next two games away, starting this Saturday at Clemson, and then next Wednesday against Notre Dame, and then will conclude their regular season in Tallahassee against Boston College. The Cardinals only have two games left to play, as they’ll host Virginia Tech at the KFC Yum! Center, and then will have to play the Virginia Cavaliers in Charlottesville to finish.
Bracketology Effect: Florida State remains on the 3 line in the South, a convenient spot, due to the first and second round location in Tampa. Louisville drops from the 3 in the West, to the 4 in the Midwest.
Betting Effect: Covered: FSU -2.5, Over 143