After losing 5-straight ACC games and having their defense exposed, it seemed like the last team FSU would want to see was Notre Dame. The Irish entered with the No. 1 offense in the nation.
But Mike Brey's teams are typically terrible on the defensive end, and the Noles were able to capitalize early to take an 18-10 lead eight minutes into the game.
Predictably, Notre Dame stormed right back and cut it to 18-17 when FSU missed six straight shots.
What we didn't know at the time is that would be the closest Notre Dame would get all night. And the reason: FSU's defense finally showed up.
Florida State was active all over the floor. Numerous deflections led to turnovers, and FSU was funneling drivers straight into the interior defense of Boris Bojanovsky and Jarquez Smith.
At halftime, FSU led 46-30.
In the 2nd half, we kept waiting for the inevitable Notre Dame run. Only it never came. Florida State took it's first 20 point lead with just under 14 minutes to play, and the rout was on.
Dwayne Bacon and Benji Bell kept knocking down jumpers. Devon Bookert kept flying all over the floor, igniting FSU's defense. And Boris Bojanovsky played one of the most complete games of his career.
In what has been a disappointing few weeks, this was a welcome bright spot.
FSU's only available walk-on entered the game with over two minutes to play, and at that point it was over.
The Noles won 77-56. They were the first team this year to hold the Notre Dame offense to below a point per possession.
Dwayne Bacon led FSU with 21 points on just 11 shots. Benji Bell made 4-9 3s on his way to 14 points. And four players scored eight, including Bojo who also had nine rebounds and six blocked shots.
The Noles improve to 17-12 (7-10) and next face Syracuse on Saturday in the final regular season game.