clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

The FSU basketball fan’s daily rooting guide

The college hoops landscape, through garnet-tinted glasses.

NCAA Basketball: SEC Tournament-Mississippi State vs LSU Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

The month of March is the undisputed home of madness for college hoops, but February is formidably fierce as well. We’ve arrived at that point in the season where we’ve enough behind us to make reasonable assumptions as to who the contenders and pretenders probably are, with some bubble holdouts keeping things fun.

That’s why we recently began our ACC bubble watch, and now here’s our FSU hoops rooting guide. The idea behind this is simple: there are 353 D-1 basketball teams, and so it can be difficult for even a die-hard fanatic to keep track of everything that’s going on— let alone a casual fan. So, understanding that most of the visitors to Tomahawk Nation are specifically vested in ’Noles hoops, we thought we’d distill things down for you.

We’ll update this piece every day, focusing on top-25 and ACC games, and whom Seminole supporters should back, and why. We’re hoping, in this somewhat slower portion of the sports calendar, that this provides a means of cheering for your favorite team, however indirectly, even when it’s not playing. We’ll also include final scores from the games discussed the day prior, thus saving you time clicking around the internet, when you have more important things to do, like clicking around Tomahawk Nation.

Happy National Signing Day everyone!

If you want to take a little bit of a break from all of the drama that’s associated with NSD, there are some intriguing matchups on the hardwood today.

-Wednesday, February 6th-

Clemson at Georgia Tech:

Florida State picked up a 77-68 win over Clemson on January 22nd and just secured a victory against GT on Saturday. In regards to the NCAA Tournament, the Tigers are firmly on the bubble, and the Yellow Jackets are on the outside looking in. Cheer for Georgia Tech here.

Notre Dame at Miami:

Both of these teams aren’t very good (Notre Dame is slightly better though.) Additionally, FSU beat Miami in early January but still has a home game against the Fighting Irish on February 25th. However, I like the Seminoles to beat Mike Brey’s squad at the Tuck in that game, so I want ND’s resume to be as good as possible when that happens. Also, it just feels right to root against Miami.

Creighton at No. 14 Villanova:

The Seminoles had a close loss against Villanova at the beginning of this season, so ’Noles should want the Wildcats to keep winning games. Furthermore, Creighton is one of the first 4 teams out in ESPN’s latest round of Bracketology, so a loss helps weaken the resume of another potential bubble team. Villanova all the way.

No. 21 LSU at Mississippi State:

Florida State beat LSU right before the aforementioned loss to Villanova. The Tigers have turned into a pretty good basketball team since that defeat. Cheer for the Bayou Bengals here in this sneakily tough road matchup.

No. 24 Maryland at Nebraska:

Nebraska isn’t really a team on the bubble at this point, and the No. 24 ranked Terrapins are currently projected as a 6-seed in Bracketology. The No. 22 ranked Seminoles are listed as a 7-seed. Cheer for the Cornhuskers to pull off an upset here to potentially improve FSU’s seeding in the big tourney.

No. 19 Wisconsin at Minnesota:

Minnesota is currently a 9-seed and Wisconsin is a 5-seed via Bracketology. Florida State still has some really tough games ahead of them, and more losses could be coming. Based off of that, root for the Gophers to take the L here.

No. 6 Nevada at Colorado State:

Colorado State stinks and Nevada is really good. Cheer for the upset here. CHAOS!

There’s really only one critical game on Tuesday and it’s at Syracuse. Go ’Noles.

In other games:

-Tuesday, February 5th-

Boston College at No. 2 Duke:

The Seminoles lost to the Eagles earlier on this season in embarrassing fashion, but If Boston College upsets the Blue Devils at home, Florida State’s loss to the Eagles will look a little better. FINAL 80-55, Duke

No. 9 Michigan State at Illinois

Everyone loves a good upset, root for Illinois to upset Michigan State for further Bracketology chaos. FINAL 79-74, Illinois

No. 7 Michigan at Rutgers

See MSU at Illinois: Root for Rutgers, because who really wants to root for the Wolverines? FINAL 77-65, Michigan

Missouri at No. 1 Tennessee:

Missouri HC Cuonzo Martin looks to to shake up the rankings when he makes his first return to Rocky Top with his Tigers since the end of his tenure with the Vols in 2014. The Volunteers attempt to increase their program-record winning streak to 17 games after breaking the 100-year old record last week. An upset here will ensure ultimate chaos. FINAL 72-60, Tennessee

Pittsburgh at Wake Forest:

The Seminoles lost to the Panthers already this season, but a Wake Forest win will cancel out Florida State’s loss to Pittsburg if the Seminoles win their home-and-home series with the Deacs’ later on this month. FINAL 78-76, Wake

NC State at No. 11 North Carolina:

Gonna predict that NCSU scores more than 24 points this game. But we don’t want them to win. FSU is ahead of them currently, though I feel that the ‘Noles slide down after a loss to Syracuse tonight. So wine and cheese it up. FINAL 113-96, UNC

St. John’s at No. 10 Marquette:

See NCSU-UNC. Marquette is solidly ahead of FSU while the Johnnies are chasing. We don’t want them to pull a big win. Golden Eagles! 70-69, St. John’s

No. 13 Kansas at Kansas State:

Per Bracket Matrix, K-State is the team just ahead of Florida State. A win against over-rated KU would give them a huge lift. Forget about the FBI for a moment and Rock Chalk Jayhawk. FINAL 74-67, KSU

Akron at Toledo:

Could Toledo earn their way as an at-large? They probably need to win out to do it, and we want the MAC to be a one-bid league. Go ahead and notch that loss, Rockets. FINAL 63-52, Toledo

Florida at Auburn:

The Gators are projected to just squeak in at this point, while Auburn is neck and neck with FSU. Gotta hold your nose and root for UF to help our strength of schedule and knock Bruce Pearl down a notch. FINAL 76-62, Auburn

Utah State at Fresno State:

Utah State is currently projected in the last four in. We want the bubble to be as soft as possible, and Fresno is kind of a sad place to live, so let’s root for them. FINAL 82-81, USU

Out of conference foes in action: St. Louis FINAL vs. Dayton, 73-60 SLU

Happy Monday, if that’s even a thing. FSU got some nice results from Villanova and Purdue yesterday, so let’s keep this thing going with a few more picks that could help the Seminoles’ postseason prospects.

-Monday, February 4th-

No. 16 Louisville at No. 11 Virginia Tech:

These teams are separated by just one line in Bracket Matrix, as the top-2 4-seeds. It seems like a coin flip, but let’s pull for the Cardinals, since Florida State will host them with elite recruit Anthony Edwards in town for Saturday’s showdown. FINAL 72-64, UL

West Virginia at No. 18 Texas Tech:

The Red Raiders are bringing up the bottom line of that 4-seed, ahead of the ’Noles, and while I think that they’re a touch overrated, they still carry some clout because of their top-3 defense. The ’Neers are fun, but no real threat, so root for the Huggies. FINAL Huggy Bear got rolled

No. 17 Iowa State at Oklahoma:

The Cyclones are a 5-seed for both Lunardi and across Bracket Matrix. Meanwhile, the Sooners are a 6-seed in the former and an 8-seed in the latter. It’s time to knock down OU, which is surrounding FSU. Got get ’em, ’Clones. FINAL 75-74 ISU

A trio of noon games comprise today’s FSU rooting guide— so before we all tune in to cheer against the Patriots, here are some teams you can actually root for.

-Sunday, February 3rd-

Georgetown at No. 14 Villanova:

A Wildcat victory here would be good for a couple of different reasons. First, the Hoyas are lingering on the wrong side of the bubble, so knocking them back a bit would give FSU some more breathing room. Second, the Seminoles’ first loss of the season came to the Cats, so every game Villanova wins makes that defeat more palatable for Florida State. ’Nova is the pick here. FINAL: 77-65, Villanova

Minnesota at No. 17 Purdue:

The Gophers are a much bigger threat to the ’Noles than Georgetown, as they’re likely in the tournament right now, just a couple seeds below FSU. Purdue, meanwhile, is the Seminoles’ best win of the season, presently, so the better they do, the better for Florida State. Pull for the Boilermakers to defend their home court. FINAL: 73-63, Purdue

Wake Forest at Clemson:

Today’s disgusting ACC game features a pair of teams that FSU will face twice and currently have just three conference wins between them. Still, the Tigers remain a top-50 KenPom-ranked squad and are on the bubble. The Demon Deacons are…not. So root for them. FINAL: 64-37, Clemson

Hey y'all, Visser back with you here for a lengthy slate of Saturday contests. You know that the No. 25 Seminoles are hosting Georgia Tech at noon, but let’s run through the other games being played today.

-Saturday, February 2nd-

St. John’s at No. 2 Duke:

We know you hate to hear this, but seriously, cheer for the Blue Devils. Duke isn’t going anywhere, while the Red Storm is perched upon ESPN’s “Last Four Byes” line and a 10-seed per Bracket Matrix. A burst bubble is a good bubble, and it also helps Florida State’s strength of schedule. FINAL: 91-61, Duke

No. 12 Virginia Tech at No. 23 NC State:

Lunardi’s latest projection has NCSU as an 8-seed, FSU as a 7-seed, and VT as a 4-seed. The Seminoles have the rest of the season, which is softer than it began, to work their way back up the ACC. So for now, let’s hope that the weaker seed is vanquished, providing for a better win when the ’Noles play the Hokies. Root for the Gobblers, for now. FINAL: 47-24, Virginia Tech

Miami at No. 3 Virginia:

Miami is terrible, at 1-7 in ACC play, while UVA has won the league with the regularity of getting an egg on a burger at the White Spot in Charlottesville (which you really should do, if you’ve not before). Florida State has already defeated the Hurricanes twice, while suffering a road loss against the ’Hoos. I’d normally tell you to pull for Miami, but that just seems sort of hopeless, so do what your heart tells you and keep that ’Cane hate alive. A loss at Virginia is nothing to be ashamed of for the Seminoles. FINAL: 56-46, Virginia

No. 9 North Carolina at No. 15 Louisville:

The ’Noles have just one regular-season shot at each of these teams: a road game in Chapel Hill, prefaced by a Tallahassee matchup against the Cardinals. The other day, I wrote about how the nation’s top shooting-guard prospect, Anthony Edwards, will be taking his final visit to FSU for the Seminoles’ game against the Cards on February 9th. And as I’ve written before, a win over UNC is always going to draw significant attention, so here’s hoping that Louisville can arrive at the Tuck as highly ranked as possible. FINAL: 79-69, North Carolina

Texas at No. 20 Iowa State:

Both the latest ESPN projection and the Bracket Matrix’s aggregate seeding have ISU as a 5-seed and Texas as a 10-seed, bookending the Seminoles. The Longhorns have a recent tendency of weakening into tourney time, which may suggest the Cyclones as a bigger threat. But at this point in time, it’s still about deflating the bubble. Take the ’Clones. FINAL: 65-60, Iowa State

No. 22 Mississippi State at Ole Miss:

The Bulldogs are just one spot above FSU in the Bracket Matrix averages, by 15 one-hundredths of a point for the top spot on the 7-line. Ole Miss is quite close behind, as the final 8-seed. Here’s to vanquishing the closest competition, and giving us all another reason to hate cowbells: pull for William Faulkner and his Rebels. FINAL: 81-75, Mississippi State

No. 7 Kentucky at Florida:

Everybody had their coffee? Y'all done your stretching? Good. Now, deep breaths. And root for the reptiles. Florida State already demolished UF, again, so a Gators victory helps the ’Noles, especially if they can slither out a win against the Wildcats. FINAL: 65-54, Kentucky

No. 16 Texas Tech at No. 11 Kansas:

The Jayhawks have been a joke playing true road games this year, with a 1-5 record. But because they’re Kansas, lazy voters don’t care. And they’re gonna keep getting name-brand treatment, so why fight it? The Red Raiders are within reach of FSU, so Florida State fans may as well hope that they regress to the field a bit more. Rock Chalk. FINAL: 79-63, Kansas

Indiana at No. 6 Michigan State:

Tom Izzo is one of the best coaches in the game, and his Spartans always seem to get stronger as postseason play nears, while the Hoosiers tend to get the benefit of the doubt because old white sports writers grew up on a movie about Indiana hoops. Full disclosure: Hoosiers is a fantastic film. Added disclosure: IU isn’t very good at basketball. So pull for Sparty, because MSU is gonna be just fine, and Indiana is an 11-seed for Lunardi and Bracket Matrix. FINAL: 79-75 (OT), Indiana

Boise State at No. 8 Nevada:

You don’t have to worry about the Broncos until FSU football kicks off against them on the last day of August. So root for the underdog here: BSU. FINAL: 93-73, Nevada

Arkansas at No. 19 LSU:

The Tigers are one of the hottest teams in the nation, having won their last 10 games. And that doesn’t suck for the Seminoles’ strength of schedule, as Florida State beat them earlier in the season. The Razorbacks are lingering around the wrong side of the bubble, which is even more reason for you to double down on the Bayou Bengals. FINAL: 90-89, Arkansas

No. 1 Tennessee at Texas A&M:

The Aggies are garbage, at 1-6 in the SEC. Throw them some pity cheers. Or don’t— I’m guessing they'll blame a loss on facilities. FINAL: 93-76, Tennessee

San Diego at No. 4 Gonzaga:

The Zags could still be a 1-seed, but I may only get one chance to type this: go Toreros (for real, I spell-checked that like four times). FINAL: 85-69, Gonzaga

Notre Dame at Boston College:

Three wins exist between these two “teams.” The problem is that the ’Noles defecated in their linens against the latter. The Irish and Eagles are pretty close, per KenPom, but BC is lower, so I guess root for them not to become a worse loss. Or don’t. This game sucks. FINAL: 79-73, Notre Dame

Syracuse at Pitt:

Syracuse, presently, is a 9-seed, and we all know what the Orange can do in the NCAA Tournament. Even though the Panthers bested the Seminoles in Pittsburgh, they’re not going anywhere in the postseason, so let’s hope they can do what no other team ever seems capable of achieving: pushing ’Cuse from the favorable side of the bubble. FINAL: 65-56, Syracuse

-Friday, February 1st-

No. 5 Michigan at Iowa:

Joe Lunardi currently has Michigan as a 2-seed, so the Wolverines are too far ahead for the ’Noles to worry about at the moment. Iowa, however, is a projected 6-seed, while most outlets have FSU as a 7-seed in today’s bracketology projections. A win over the Wolverines would very likely move the Hawkeyes into the top 25, while a loss would give FSU the opportunity for a higher seed. Put aside the painful memories of last year’s Elite Eight loss and root for Michigan to leave Iowa City with the win. FINAL: 74-59, Iowa

No. 18 Buffalo at Bowling Green:

Bowling Green finds itself on a few bracket projections at the moment, but still sits about 20 teams behind the First Four Out according to Bracket Matrix. While a top-20 win here moves them more squarely toward the bubble, they would still be well below the ’Noles. Buffalo is a consensus 6-seed, and a win for Bowling Green helps FSU’s chances to move up in seeding. Go Falcons! FINAL: 92-88, Bowling Green

No. 21 Maryland at No. 24 Wisconsin:

Whom to root for in this matchup is pretty much a toss-up as both teams are similarly projected ahead of FSU. Lunardi currently projects Maryland as a 6-seed and Wisconsin as a 5-seed. With this one being in Madison, and factoring in that the Terrapins have a slightly tougher remaining schedule, it seems the ’Noles have a better chance of moving ahead of Maryland. Either team losing could help with higher seeding for FSU, but a Badgers win would likely be more beneficial. FINAL: 69-61, Wisconsin

-Thursday, January 31-

No. 17 Purdue at Penn State:

The Seminoles’ last-minute victory over the Boilermakers earlier this season is becoming more impressive each week. With a Purdue victory over No. 6 Michigan State last week, FSU fans should root for the Boilermakers to keep racking up Ws in the victory column tonight in an important win on the road. FINAL: 99-90 (OT), Purdue

Temple at No. 13 Houston:

Temple is currently listed as one of the first four teams out of the NCAA tournament, so until Florida State moves up in the rankings, ’Noles fans should want that bubble to soften as much as possible with a Houston win. FINAL: 73-66, Houston

No. 4 Gonzaga at BYU:

Gonzaga is too far ahead of the ’Noles at the moment and BYU doesn’t have any realistic at-large bid chances, but if you enjoy upsets as much as we do, root for the Cougars to shock the Zags at home. FINAL: 93-63, Gonzaga

-Wednesday, January 30-

No. 12 Virginia Tech at Miami:

The Seminoles just picked up a win over the hapless ‘Canes on Sunday, and they don’t play Virginia Tech until March 5th. While Miami, with a current record of 9-10, doesn’t have a real shot to make the NCAA Tournament, a win against VT would make FSU’s win over UM look better. However, it would likely take much more than just a win at home against the Hokies to give Miami a respectable enough resume where it would count as a quality win for the Seminoles. Give me a Virginia Tech win here, so that their body of work looks as good as possible when Florida State faces off with them at home in early March. FINAL: 82-70, Virginia Tech

No. 15 Louisville at Wake Forest:

Same exact logic as the game above. Wake Forest is bad, Louisville is not. Rooting for a UL win here would mean the most since the Seminoles play them on February 9th at the Tuck. FINAL: 82-54, Louisville

Syracuse at Boston College:

Florida State and Syracuse are in very similar spots, in regards to the latest edition of ESPN’s Bracketology. The ’Noles are currently listed as a 7-seed and the Orange are a 9-seed. Right now, Joe Lunardi even has them slated to play in the same region. A little too close for comfort, if you want a guaranteed spot for FSU in the tourney. Cheer for BC here to try and worsen SU’s case for an at-large bid. FINAL: 77-71, Syracuse

No. 10 Marquette at Butler:

Right now, Butler is listed among the first 4 teams out of the NCAA Tournament, while Marquette is a projected 3-seed. FSU fans should be rooting for the Golden Eagles to pull out a victory on the road. Soften that bubble further. FINAL: 76-58, Marquette

West Virginia at No. 20 Iowa State:

Florida State is currently ranked at the 25th spot in the latest AP poll and the Cyclones are at No. 20. Let’s pull for head coach Bob Huggins to lead his disappointing Mountaineers to an upset victory on the road at ISU, so that the Seminoles can keep climbing up the polls. FINAL: 93-68, Iowa State

No. 14 Villanova at DePaul:

FSU lost a 6-point game to Villanova earlier this season. A Wildcat victory here would continue to make that loss look better and better. FINAL: 86-74, Villanova

No. 19 LSU at Texas A&M:

Conversely, FSU won a 3-point game against LSU in the contest directly preceding the aforementioned Villanova loss. ’Nole fans should be cheering hard for a Tiger victory here, as that would only add to Florida State’s out of conference resume. Plus, who wants to cheer for the Aggies? FINAL: 72-57, LSU

-Tuesday, January 29-

No. 1 Tennessee at South Carolina:

The Volunteers appear destined for an elite seed out of the shaky SEC, while the Gamecocks are well off the bubble, on the wrong side. Still, USCe is 5-1 in conference play, and rules are sometimes bent for teams from big conferences, however overrated they may be. Until the Seminoles are safe, let’s keep that bubble nice and soft. Rocky Top! FINAL: 92-70, Tennessee

No. 3 Virginia at No. 23 NC State:

The Wolfpack are an 8-seed in the latest Bracket Matrix, a line behind FSU, and also a seed behind the Seminoles per ESPN. Translation: they’re a lot closer to the Seminoles than either are to the Cavs. Go ’Hoos. FINAL: 66-65 (OT), Virginia

No. 9 North Carolina at Georgia Tech:

Given GT’s 3-4 ACC record — the same as that of the ’Noles, presently — it might seem like the same logic would apply here: pull for the blue-blood to dispatch of the possible bubble threat. But the thing is, Tech isn’t included in any of the 91 projections surveyed in Bracket Matrix, because the Yellow Jackets are expected to fade. For FSU, beating UNC is always going to look good, so it’s time to cheer for the Jackets, especially since the Seminoles get them twice this regular season, and it would be best if they didn’t slide too far. FINAL: 77-54, North Carolina

No. 11 Kansas at Texas:

It’s tough to imagine Kansas not doing just fine in seeding, when it’s all said and done. The Longhorns are a 10-seed, a few spots behind the ’Noles, in the latest Bracketology projection. More separation, please. Rock Chalk, Jayhawk! FINAL: 73-63, Texas

Ball State at No. 18 Buffalo:

That Cardinals aren’t doing anything this year, so they’re no threat. And Florida State could still chase down the Bulls, so root for the boys from David Letterman’s alma mater (that’s Ball St.). FINAL: 83-59, Buffalo

Northwestern at No. 21 Maryland:

The above logic pretty much holds here as well. And purple is an underrated uniform color— when it’s not paired with orange, that is. The Wildcats are the pick. FINAL: 70-52, Maryland

No. 24 Wisconsin at Nebraska:

This one is tough. The Badgers are one spot ahead of FSU in the latest AP Poll, so picking the Huskers seems like a no-brainer. But ’Scony, led by Ethan Happ, should be alright, currently averaging out as a 6-seed on both Bracket Matrix and per Lunardi. The children of the corn, however, are just six slots below the ’Noles in Bracket Matrix. In the interest of getting into the dance before getting greedy, go get ’em, Bucky. FINAL: 62-51, Wisconsin

No. 22 Mississippi State at Alabama:

Just two slots above Florida State in Bracket Matrix? The Bulldogs. Alabama is farther down, and squarely on the bubble, but I think the Tide is more likely to fade anyway, so Roll Tide. FINAL: 83-79, Alabama

Ohio State at No. 5 Michigan:

The Wolverines are gonna get a really high seed, while the Buckeyes are just under the Seminoles in projections. Go Blue! FINAL: 65-49, Michigan

No. 7 Kentucky at Vanderbilt:

The Commodores have yet to win an SEC game. Let’s hope that they can turn that around on their court that looks like it’s located in an airplane hangar. FINAL: 87-52, Kentucky

No. 8 Nevada at UNLV:

Yeah, the Rebels are just a game behind the Wolfpack at the moment, but this is Nevada’s conference to lose, so we may as well pull for chaos, and the Runnin’ Rebs. FINAL: 87-70, Nevada

Pittsburgh at Clemson:

These teams have three ACC wins between them, but since the Seminoles still play the Tigers again, let’s hope they wind up on the right side of this result. FINAL: 82-69, Clemson

-Monday, January 28-

No. 2 Duke at Notre Dame:

As Matt noted in yesterday’s bubble watch, Duke is a lock, while the Irish may not make the NIT. The Seminoles still have a shot at beating ND, but it’s not gonna do much for their résumé. Better to keep that close loss to Duke looking good— and maybe Florida State gets another shot at the Blue Devils, and their elite ranking, in the ACC Tourney. I take no joy in typing this: root for Duke. FINAL: 83-61, Duke

TCU at No. 16 Texas Tech:

This is a tricky one, as the No. 25 ’Noles could certainly catch the Red Raiders for a better Tourney seed. But the Horned Frogs are right next to FSU in current projections— and they’re actually forecasted to play each other in the first round in one bracket. TT is well clear at the moment, as a 3-seed in Bracket Matrix. If Florida State can get to .500 in ACC play this Saturday, then it can start eyeing a better seed. But for right now, the focus remains on just locking down a bid— so Guns Up. FINAL: 84-65, Texas Tech

Again, check back tomorrow, when finals will be included for the above games as well as picks for the day’s contests. And in the meantime, this would be a great page to bookmark.