College Basketball: Duke Battle FSU in ACC Showdown

Al Dannity | Updated Feb 23, 2012

March Madness is nearly here and we’re starting to get a better idea of who the real contenders will be in the NCAA Tournament. One of the most important regular season games of the year takes place in Tallahassee tonight. Al Dannity takes a closer look at Duke’s clash with Florida State.

No shaking these Seminoles Excuse me for one second I’ve got something stuck in my throat, oh wait it’s only ONIONS! [youtube][/youtube] Michael Snaer’s buzzer beating three had a two-fold effect. In one shot he caused College Basketball betting fans to believe in Florida State and to start second-guessing Duke. For the Seminoles that win meant they scored wins over both crown princes of the ACC a week apart. Any doubts that their shellacking of North Carolina was a one-off quickly eroded after that win in Cameron. The Noles have dropped just one game since that January 21 victory, a road loss at Boston College.

Staying in the mix for the ACC regular season title has been nice for FSU. More importantly, that consistent run has done wonders for this roster’s confidence. We all knew the Seminoles could ball at the start of the season. The question was whether they could be trusted. Losses to two Ivy League schools meant the Seminoles looked at best a fringe candidate for at-large status. Whatever doubts we had are now gone and now the only question is how far Florida State will go in the NCAA Tournament. A win tonight would not just give Florida State the season sweep of Duke, it would move them into contention for a #2 or #3 seed in March Madness. That would set the Seminoles up nicely for a run to the second weekend and after that, anything can happen.

Big questions for Blue Devils There are some notable names on the Blue Devils resume this year. To date 8 of their 23 wins have come against teams likely to be called on Selection Sunday. The worrying sign for Blue Devils is that only one of those wins has come since their January 12 win over Virginia. Admittedly it’s quite the lone win. I went all Bill Rafterty for Snaer so I’ve got to show Austin Rivers some love. ONIONS! [youtube][/youtube]

That incredible finish in Chapel Hill has settled the nerves of NCAA Basketball betting fans that were concerned by Duke’s home losses to Florida State and Miami. The comeback from a double-digit deficit showed the kind of toughness required for a deep run in March. Tonight we’ll see if they can show that same determination in a similarly hostile environment.

The verdict The Seminoles needed another piece of magic from Snaer to beat Virginia Tech last week. They appear to have learnt their lesson as Florida State looked a lot less complacent in a big win at NC State on Saturday. I like the hungry and fired-up Seminoles to sneak a win at home tonight.

Follow Sports Interaction on Twitter.