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Florida State basketball’s path to conference championship, No. 1 ACC seed

The Seminoles are on the verge of a regular season conference title.

NCAA Basketball: Florida State at N.C. State Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports


With its win at Notre Dame on Wednesday, Florida State is just one win away from at least a share of its first-ever ACC regular season title.

It currently is tied with Louisville at the top of the standings, but since FSU owns the season series against the Cardinals, it would get the No. 1 seed in the ACC Tournament over them.

Now, where things get interesting is that Louisville plays Virginia in its season finale, the team directly below it in the standings. If Virginia beats Louisville and FSU wins, the Seminoles not only earn the No. 1 seed but they also win the regular season title outright.

If Duke wins against rival UNC, Virginia beats Louisville, and FSU loses, the top of the standings will be a four-way tie. The tie would be broken by considering records against the fellow teams in the tie: 3-2 for FSU; 3-2 for UVA; 2-3 for UL; 1-2 for Duke. This would mean Duke would claim the 4th seed, Louisville would fall down to the 3 seed, and UVA and FSU would still be tied.

The next step would be to compare Virginia’s and Florida State’s records against the ACC teams outside of the four-way tie, beginning with the 5th place team and working down. From what we can tell by using this fantastic scenario generator website, FSU would win all further tiebreak scenarios with UVA, thus earning the 1 seed.

In summary, if FSU wins against Boston College the ‘Noles earn the 1 seed. If UL loses against Virginia, we believe the ‘Noles earn the 1 seed. If Louisville wins AND FSU loses, UL wins the ACC regular season title outright and FSU could fall to as low as the 3 seed.


Tobacco Road teams (Duke, North Carolina, NC State and Wake Forest) have won claimed the regular season ACC title 16 of the last 20 years.

On Tuesday night, Wake Forest taking down Duke in double overtime might have cost them a shot at it for just the fifth time since 2000, giving Florida State a clear path towards its first-ever regular season crown:

The Seminoles won the ACC Tournament in 2012, but lost out on the regular season title to North Carolina (who Florida State had not just beaten by a significant margin earlier that season, but also ended up beating to claim the tournament title.) After winning big against Louisville at home, the No. 6 Seminoles now have two relatively clear paths towards claiming the title, in addition to securing a No. 1 seed in the ACC Tournament.

The ol’ Al Davis: I’m too young to know if this has a gross double meaning other than “just win, baby,” so please don’t get mad at me if there is one, but that’s the gist of it. If Florida State can win its next three games (at Clemson, at Notre Dame, vs. Boston College), it’ll not only have a title, but a No. 1 seed in the conference tournament and a very, very compelling case for a top seed (though, a No. 2 slot in Tampa looks to still be the most likely. We’ll get to that more in a bit.)

Lose one, win the rest: This is the only other realistic way FSU can win the title, (even then, it would be a shared one.) A three-way tie at the top of the standings between Florida State, Louisville and Duke would result in a No. 1 seed for the Seminoles, and the same goes if only the Cardinals are tied. However, if Duke wins out and FSU drops a game, Florida State would get a No. 2 seed (along with a split title.)

Now, how could Florida State end up with a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament?

Honestly, winning out isn’t fully necessary, but it would make things a lot more realistic, given that the path to a No. 1 is already likely contingent on other teams losing. Florida State’s main enemies at the moment are SDSU and Dayton, who are looking to be the first two considerations for the final No. 1.

Would an ACC regular season title, paired with a tournament title via wins over say, Virginia and Duke, be enough to give Florida State a No. 1 seed without any help? Maybe, but it’s not extremely likely.