Florida State (6-5, 5-5 ACC) fell to Miami (8-7, 5-7 ACC) this afternoon by a 68-53 score in Coral Gables.
Both teams started out frigid. Both teams missed their first six shots. However, FSU ended the quarter on a 7-0 run capped by a Sayawni Lassiter buzzer beater. The Noles took an 11-7 lead into the second quarter.
The shooting improved in the second quarter. Both teams mostly traded baskets and Miami cut FSU’s lead to a bucket at 24-22 going into halftime.
UM blew the game open in the third quarter. Miami hit their first eight shots (mostly layups) storming out to a 44-32 lead. The Canes would finish the quarter shooting 11-13 from the field and they stretched the lead to 48-36 going into the fourth quarter.
In the last quarter Miami held off FSU and cruised to the 68-53 victory.
Bianca Jackson led FSU with 12 points while Morgan Jones had 10. They were the only Noles in double figures.
The third quarter was brutal for the Seminoles. Miami won it 26-12. It was basically a layup line for the Canes. FSU couldn’t stop the dribble-drive. UM shot 11-13 in the third quarter while FSU shot 5-17.
Miami outscored FSU in the paint 48-14 for the game. This is not because the Canes are big inside. UM has tall players on the roster but they don’t play. The Canes only had a total of six game minutes from any player taller than 6’2. The paint points were because the Noles couldn’t stop Miami off the dribble. Time after time UM got to the rim for layups. When they weren’t doing that they were beating the Noles down the court for transition layups. When they weren’t doing that they were turning FSU over and feasting on easy buckets. Florida State had a whopping 23 turnovers in the game.
FSU now has six (scheduled) games left in the regular season. It is not too early to consider how the Noles stack up for the NCAA Tournament. FSU is officially ranked 47th in the NET but that ranking isn’t updated after every game so the Noles could be lower when the next NET ranking comes out. FSU is now 58th in the live RPI but this ranking will continue to change as today’s results continue to arrive.
According to the latest NET rankings, FSU is 2-4 in Q1 games, 2-1 in Q2 games, 1-0 in Q3 games and 1-0 in Q4 games. This game against MIami was FSU’s worst NET loss as the Canes are ranked 80th. Florida State’s best NET win is on the road at Virginia Tech (33rd in the NET). The fact that FSU has no bad (Q3 or Q4) losses is the best part of the resume. FSU also has a respectable 4-5 record against Q1 and Q2 teams. This is why the Noles are currently still on the bubble. However, after this loss Florida State is probably on the wrong side of the bubble. My guess is that the Noles would be in the first four out if the season ended today.
Fortunately for FSU the season doesn’t end today. FSU has a great chance to enhance its tournament profile in these last six games. There will be three Q1 games and two Q2 games based on current NET rankings in those last six games. Of course this means that the Noles will be playing good teams but it is obviously necessary to beat good teams to get to the Tournament.
This was the end of the longest road trip FSU has had since the 2007-08 season. When looking through that lens it is understandable that the Seminoles would lay an egg in this game. However, this was ugly. Florida State is capable of playing much better than this and they will need to if they want to make it to the NCAA Tournament for the eighth straight year.
Florida State will welcome Syracuse (10-4, 7-4 ACC) to Tallahassee on Thursday. The Orange beat Pitt 71-67 today. The game will tip at 8pm and will be broadcast on the ACC Network.