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Florida State tops No. 13 Miami on the road

Noles complete the biggest comeback win in ACC history

The Florida State Seminoles pulled off the biggest miracle of the year, knocking off the No. 13 Miami Hurricanes on the road on a buzzer-beater from Matthew Cleveland. The Noles reign in South Florida continues with “Mayhem in Miami” for the biggest comeback win in ACC history.


Player of the game: Matthew Cleveland made a heavy impact in his first game back in garnet and gold. The sophomore finished the match with 20 points and five rebounds.

First half

The Seminoles started the game with Darin Green Jr., Jalen Warley, Matthew Cleveland, Caleb Mills, and Cameron Corhen. Cleveland warmed up with the Noles after being considered a game-time decision and was then seen as available for the first time in the last two weeks.

Florida State’s sideline called a timeout less than a minute into the game. The Watsco Center was on their feet after a made three from Isaiah Wong and a slam dunk from Norchad Omier. The Hurricanes were up 10-2 at the 18-minute mark.

Naheim McLeod was the first to check in for the Seminoles, replacing Corhen. The Canes continued to quickly extend that lead, up 16-5 at the first media timeout. There was a clear lack of effort on the defensive end early for the Noles.

Chandler Jackson, Baba Miller, and Sola Adebisi made an appearance for the Seminoles with 13 minutes remaining in the first half. Florida State desperately needed an energy booster and this seemed to be the lineup to fight their way back.

The Noles cut it close, down 26-21 with under 10 minutes remaining, but they had tremendous difficulty communicating on help defense. After Florida State started inching back, the Hurricanes erupted for a 16-2 run. FSU dug itself into a massive double-digit hole. They were shooting 1-9 in a span where the Canes scored 18 unanswered points.

Miami was spreading the floor, finding most of their success in transition. The Canes were shooting 50% from three, having a 13-6 edge in the assist column and 15-2 edge in points off turnovers. They were moving up and down the court with urgency, leading to easy baskets around the rim and open looks from distance.

The Hurricanes were playing a high on-ball double team that disrupted the Seminoles' chances to set their offense and forced them into three-point shots. Aside from Jackson, they weren’t too prosperous in the shooting column.

Florida State headed into the half down 23 points. The 54-31 deficit was one of the worst first halves the Seminoles have ever displayed at the Watsco Center. They were shooting 36% from three and 38% from the field, having major trouble in transition defense.

Second half

Both teams were exchanging buckets right out the gate, many of which came on the charity stripe. Miami called their first timeout at 14:45 after Florida State rode a 13-1 run and the Canes caught themselves in a three-minute scoring drought. The Noles were down 61-49 up to this point.

De’Ante Green got his number called following the timeout. Green and Miller went onto the court to give size and versatility on both ends. Miami scored 10 of their first 11 field goal attempts following the timeout. The Hurricanes held a 65-53 lead with 11:34 left in the game.

Florida State found the bottom of the net on four straight opportunities, getting within single digits with under 10 minutes remaining. The Noles were down 68-66 after an 11-0 run. Green knocked down a massive triple in transition after FSU forced three straight turnovers and clamped Miami for a three-minute span.

Miami went back into the huddle to set up a game plan and extend their lead. They did just that when they focused more on sets off pick and rolls and found more success on the offensive glass.

FSU secured a lead with just under six minutes remaining. This was their first lead of the game, but they couldn’t make it last after constantly sending the Hurricanes to the line.

Florida State was simply hungrier late in the game. They kept their composure and kept jawing away at the lead. With 3:42 left in the game, the Noles were down 76-75. A media timeout pushed both teams toward the sideline, giving a much-needed breather to both parties

Mills was able to score a couple of shots from the free throw line, but Miami’s ability to knock the three was unmatched. Wong poured in a three from the sideline and Omier punched in a putback dunk that absolutely blew up the crowd. Miami’s Jordan Miller put the Canes up 84-82 with a three-ball that looked like it would end the game.

Cleveland shut that hope down with a three of his own, sending the Hurricanes back into the locker room with a loss. This was the first loss at home for Miami, falling in the hands of a depleted rival.

Next game: Florida State is back home at the Tucker Center for a matchup against the North Carolina Tar Heels. They’re set to hit the floor at 7:00 ET, with the game featured on ESPN. According to DraftKings, the Noles stand as the No. 14 team in the ACC with +10000 odds to make it to the NCAA tournament.