No. 1: at Duke (February 28th)
We already went over how good Duke is; they’re replete with talent and have experience in big games. This match-up will be even tougher for FSU because Cameron Indoor Stadium is one of the best home court advantages in the country.
Plus, barring something totally unforeseen happening (like coach Krzyzewski actually disciplining one of his players), Allen should be back from suspension by the time this game rolls around. So the Blue Devils will be at home, playing with their full roster, and humming on all cylinders. They’ll even have time to get freshman forward Harry Giles fully back from his offseason knee surgery. (The young big man was once the top-rated recruit in the country.)
This game will be challenging, but it’s not like Florida State hasn’t faced these sorts of odds before. I mean, who could forget what happened in 2012, when Michael Snaer and the Seminoles traveled to Durham to play against another Duke team stock-full of NBA talent.
Sure, that Florida State team was full of veteran players, who had traveled to places like Cameron Indoor and the Dean Smith Center before.
But this year’s edition of FSU basketball is much more talented. Both Dwayne Bacon and Jonathon Isaac could go in the first round of next year’s draft. While none of the guys off that 2012 FSU team are currently in the NBA (not knocking them, they were a fun squad to root for, just not the most skilled).
I’m not promising a win here. Just don’t be surprised when Bacon rises up and hits a game-winning three before falling into the arms of his oncoming teammates. Not only has it happened in this series before, Bacon himself has done it to another rival; on the road, too.
This game isn’t a must-win by any means. In fact, even if Florida State loses all five of the ones we just listed, they should still be in pretty good shape to qualify for the NCAA Tournament. Nonetheless, if they can steal just one or two victories from this countdown? They’ll be a top five seed, at the very least. So let’s hope we’re in store for some magic once ACC play begins.