After last year's buzzer-beating drama in the FSU-Florida game, it was hard to imagine another game coming down to the final possession between these two teams, but that's exactly what happened.
And Florida State won again.
Just like last year, Florida's Dorian Finney-Smith scored at the rim to tie the game, leaving FSU with the final possession. Coach Hamilton called a timeout and drew up a play for Dwayne Bacon to drive into a cleared-out right side. Bacon got into the paint, pulled up, and nailed a 15-foot jumper with four seconds left.
Florida missed a wild shot at the buzzer, and the Noles had the upset.
For much of the game it didn't look like the ending was going to be so closely contested. Devon Bookert made a circus 3-pointer at the end of the first half, capping a 10-point FSU run, and the Noles led 41-31 at the break.
The first half was marred by foul trouble for FSU's bigs (and the team was without Phil Cofer). Chris Koumadje came up huge, picking up 3 first half fouls, but still remaining solid on defense while Boris Bojanovsky and Jarquez Smith were saved for the 2nd half.
The 2nd half was played around a 10-point separation for much of the way early, and after Devon Bookert made a 3-pointer with six minutes left, the lead was still a comfortable nine points.
But from there it was all Florida.
At least until the end.
The Gators used an 11-3 run to cut the lead to one, and it could have been worse but center John Egbunu got called for an offensive foul on what would have been an easy putback with just 34 seconds left.
Malik Beasley made 1-2 FTs, and the lead was two.
That's when the Gators tied it. And that's when Dwayne Bacon became the hero.
Bacon finished the night with 24 points (his 4th straight 20+ point game), and made a career high 5-8 3s. Xavier Rathan-Mayes had 11 points and six rebounds. Devon Bookert made 3-7 3s on his way to 11 points. And Malik Beasley chipped in with 10.
Florida's outstanding freshman KeVaughn Allen had a career high 32.
As a team, Florida State finally had the breakout game they were looking from from deep, knocking down 10-24 (42%). For the most part these came as quick shots after beating Florida's press. The Noles committed just 13 turnovers, and only one or two of them were live ball turnovers caused by Florida's relentless pressure.
Florida entered the game with the No. 2 defense in the nation, and the Noles join Purdue as the only teams who have scored more than 70 vs the Gators.
The Noles are now 10-2, have two good out-of-conference wins, and head into ACC play on Saturday at Clemson.