No. 15 FSU clinches No. 2 seed with 66-57 win over No. 25 Miami
Although seedings won't be announced until later, the No. 15 Florida State men's basketball team cemented its status in the ACC Tournament with a 66-57 win over No. 25 Miami on Saturday at the Tucker Center.
FSU (24-7, 12-6 Atlantic Coast Conference) will be the No. 2 seed when the ACC Tournament starts next week at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.
The Seminoles' chances of clinching the second seed received an immediate boost when Louisville beat Notre Dame earlier in the day. Because FSU owns the head-to-head over Louisville and split the season series with Duke and Notre Dame, all the Seminoles needed was a win.
Seeding will officially be announced later this evening after the end of Duke and North Carolina which starts at 8:15 p.m.
Both FSU and Miami struggled to make shots early in the second half. The Hurricanes had a stretch where they missed eight of nine shots while the Seminoles overcame six consecutive misses and eventually gained some rhythm.
FSU took a 46-40 lead when Jarquez Smith found Terance Mann cutting the basket for an open lay-up with 11:59 left in the second half. It gave FSU its largest lead going back to when it was up by seven with 4:08 left in the first half.
Smith gave FSU its largest lead when he hit a runner plus the and-1 for a 49-40 lead with 9:18 left. Miami would cut it to 51-46 but FSU went up 54-46 with Dwayne Bacon hitting a 3-pointer as the shot clock expired.
FSU would hold a nine-point lead when Bacon stormed through the paint for a dunk to give the Seminoles a 59-48 lead with 4:12 left in the second half.
Miami would make things interesting near the end. The Hurricanes cut the lead to 59-54 following a Dewan Huell dunk with 1:26 left. Bacon would draw a foul on the next series and miss both free throws with 56 seconds remaining.
FSU got off a quick foul with Miami's Kamari Murphy missing the free throw. Seminoles center Michael Ojo got the rebound and passed it Bacon, who was then fouled. Bacon made both free throws for a 61-54 lead with 38 seconds left.
Hurricanes guard Bruce Brown sped down the court and scored on a lay-up for a 61-56 lead with 32.8 seconds remaining. Mann threw an inbounds pass to Ojo which was then recovered by the Hurricanes.
Huell was fouled with 19.8 seconds left and made the second of two free throws. FSU was able to get the ball down the court with Bacon sailing to the net. The sophomore star, who made his lay-up, was fouled on his way to the basket.
Bacon, who finished with 23 points, gave FSU a 65-57 lead with 14:4 seconds left on the free throw.
FSU surpasses the 20-win mark for the second straight year and the ninth time in Seminoles coach Leonard Hamilton's 15 seasons in Tallahassee.
This year's team, depending upon its performance in the ACC and NCAA Tournaments, could finish as arguably Hamilton's best team as it relates to victories. Hamilton had teams in 2008-09 and again in 2011-12 each win 25 games.
FSU has had three total seasons where it has reached the 25-win mark with the all-time record for most wins in a campaign coming in 1971-72 when the Seminoles won 28 en route to reaching the national title game.