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Can FSU Basketball top expectations in ACC play?

Hamilton’s teams have a history of overachieving.

NCAA Basketball: Southern Mississippi at Florida State Glenn Beil-USA TODAY Sports

After a surprising 11-1 run through the out-of-conference schedule, the 24th ranked FSU men’s basketball team tips-off conference play against the 4th ranked Duke Blue Devils on Saturday in Cameron Indoor Stadium. That game will be followed by two more games against top 15 opponents. That’s life in the ACC.

The official ACC Champion is determined by the winner of the ACC Tournament, but every year the media covering the league predicts the standings for the regular season. This year, the media pegged the Seminoles to finish 8th, which is the third time in the last four years the ‘Noles have occupied the 8 spot to start the year.

How have Leonard Hamilton’s teams fared over the years versus their expectations? Typically, pretty well.

In the 12 years since the ACC expanded to 12 teams (giving rise to the unbalanced conference schedules) FSU has met or exceeded preseason expectations eight times. Further, of the four times FSU failed to live up to preseason predictions, two of the seasons saw them finish just 1 or 2 spots lower. Only one time in 12 years have the Seminoles finished exactly as predicted, starting and ending the 2012 conference season 3rd.

Here’s the full-table:

FSU’s performance in the ACC versus expectations

Season FSU's Predicted Finish FSU's Actual Finish Percent +/-
Season FSU's Predicted Finish FSU's Actual Finish Percent +/-
2006 11th 5th 54%
2007 5th t8th -60%
2008 9th t7th 22%
2009 10th 4th 60%
2010 7th t3rd 57%
2011 5th 3rd 40%
2012 3rd 3rd 0%
2013 4th 6th -50%
2014 9th t7th 22%
2015 8th t9th -13%
2016 6th t11th -83%
2017 8th t2nd 75%
2018 8th ??? ???
Average 7.15 5.6 22%

Should Coach Hamilton guide the Seminoles to another overachieving effort this year, FSU would likely find itself in the NCAA Tournament for the second consecutive season.

After nearly two months of basketball, there are still 12 ACC teams with 3 or fewer losses. Where do you see the Seminoles finishing in league play?