Surprising Seminoles on Verge of NCAA Berth
If you asked people at the start of the season who they thought would be challenging for the ACC’s top spot in March, their answers would probably be North Carolina, Duke, Wake Forest, and/or Clemson.
What about Florida State? If you can believe it, the Seminoles, picked tenth in the ACC preseason poll, are currently tied for third with Wake Forest right on the heels of North Carolina and Duke. With a 22-7 record and nine conference wins, Florida State is a lock for its first NCAA Tournament appearance since 1998.
Senior guard Toney Douglas is the unquestioned leader of the surprising Seminoles. Douglas, a transfer from Auburn, is second in the conference in scoring at 20.6 points per game. With most of the attention focused outstanding players Tyler Hansbrough, Jeff Teague, and Gerald Henderson, Douglas has quietly become a candidate for player of the year in the conference.
Bracketography’s latest projection has Florida State as a No. 4 seed. With a top-20 RPI and a season sweep of Clemson, non-conference wins against Florida, Cal, and Cincinnati, coach Leonard Hamilton has his Seminoles in position to make at least a Sweet 16 run, if not more.
Florida State has a tough finish to the regular season with games at Duke and home against Virginia Tech prior to the ACC Tournament. If Douglas can continue to carry his team, the Seminoles should not be overlooked come tournament time.