Florida State and Boston College squared off in Tallahassee on Saturday in a game that FSU fans will long remember.
It wasn't the prettiest of games, but as the old saying goes, "you always remember your first," and the Seminoles capturing their first ACC regular-season title with an 80-62 win over the Eagles will be talked about by fans for a long time.
The game started out all Florida State. It beat BC in shooting, scoring, rebounding and all around hustle. The only statistic in which FSU trailed was in called time outs, as the Eagles called their second only five minutes into the game in an attempt to slow down the Seminoles. Florida State kept up the inspired play on both ends of the court and with six minutes left in the half had doubled up BC, leading 34-17, on its way to a 42-24 halftime edge.
The theme for the game was that Boston College had no answer for the Florida State big men. Dominik Olejniczak and Balsa Koprivica combined for 29 points (on 13 of 16 shooting) in only 25 minutes of play and made it look easy against the shorter Eagles. Patrick Williams added an efficient 10 points on 4-of-8 shooting.
The second half wasn't nearly as pretty as the first, but it didn't need to be for Florida State to win this game. Both teams came out cold, missing more shots than they made, playing sloppy and committing fouls. FSU's typically good free-throw shooting took the day off as the 'Noles made only 59% (13 of 22). This is the only significant statistic that BC won on the day, as the Eagles made 63% (15 of 24).
What went right
FSU won. The game was never in doubt, with the only question being the final score. FSU maintained a comfortable lead of 18-to-23 points for most of the second half and cruised to the 18-point win. The walk-ons enjoyed 24 minutes of combined playing time.
Ball control. FSU committed only nine turnovers for the game and BC scored only five points off of them.
Everyone got in on the act. Seventeen players saw action, 15 of them scored and everyone took at least one shot. MJ Walker led the team in minutes with 22, so everyone should be rested and ready to go for their Thursday game in the ACC tournament.
Senior Night. What better way to send out the seniors than with a win of such historic proportions? The post-game celebration included the cutting down of the nets. Seventeen players wound up with a piece of net, with coach Leonard Hamilton and coach Stan Jones cutting the final links.
Let's leave this one blank tonight. FSU won, it beat the spread, it won the regular season title and dominated the statistics. This is a time for celebration, not picking nits.
The ACC tournament opens Tuesday with Florida State enjoying the double bye and playing its first game on Thursday. Feel free to root against the orange of your choice.