FSU still controls its destiny in ACC

Despite looking terrible for long stretches against a bad Boston College squad, if Florida State can right the ship, the ACC regular-season title is still a goal Michael Snaer and Co. can achieve.

Florida State had been riding high and was on the verge of an eight-game winning streak.

However, the Eagles of Boston College had something to say about that.

BC defeated the 'Noles 64-60 on Wednesday night and snapped FSU's seven-game winning streak. FSU struggled all night and was unable to defend the 3-point line. Boston College was 10 of 22 from beyond the arc.

"I'm disappointed in myself, and I'm disappointed with the effort," said Michael Snaer. "We didn't' have a sense of urgency to get to the shooters."

Even though the ‘Noles suffered a loss to a team that had been on a six-game losing streak and among the bottom feeders of the ACC, Florida State still managed to escape the disappointing effort tied atop the conference.

As a result of Blue Devils guard Austin Rivers' buzzer beater that sent Tar Heel Nation into misery, the Seminoles dropped into a three-way tie with both Duke and North Carolina. All three teams are currently 7-2 in league play and sit atop the league.

Nonetheless, Florida State missed a golden opportunity to seize control of the Atlantic Coast Conference. On a night in which the Blue Devils were matched up with UNC, the ‘Noles had been handed first place on a silver platter.

Beat one of the worst teams in the league, and remain at the summit of the mountain that every team is trying to reach.

FSU was unable to do that.

The sting of this loss will certainly sit with the 'Noles as they gear up for Saturday's showdown with in-state rival Miami, but the defeat still leaves them with an opportunity to control their own destiny.

As a result of Florida State's 33-point romp over North Carolina in Tallahassee and its thrilling win at Cameron Indoor Stadium over Duke, FSU holds the tiebreaker with both schools. Therefore, if the season were to end today, the Seminoles would win the Atlantic Coast Conference title.

Nevertheless, the season is ongoing and the ‘Noles will be given another opportunity to distance themselves from the Blue Devils when Duke comes to the Tucker Center on Feb. 23. Some are starting to look at that game as the one that could decide which of the two programs will claim the biggest regular-season prize.

However, FSU has plenty of opponents to concern themselves with before that date. The first of which will be the Hurricanes. Fresh off their own upset of Duke on the road, the ‘Canes will be looking to squash any hopes that the Seminoles still have of capturing the ACC.

In order for the ‘Noles to return to form, they must get back to their identity. Florida State is a team that is built around contributions from multiple sources, and it has to get them from both post players and outside shooters to be successful.

Against Boston College, Bernard James, who was limited due to foul trouble, only attempted four shots. Xavier Gibson took just five shots and added 4 points. The two most reliable big men that the Seminoles have on the roster combined for 16 points and took a total of nine shots.

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Snaer shot the ball 18 times in order to get to 16 points, so he was inefficient from the field. The Eagles made the 6-5 guard a volume scorer, and, as a result, the FSU offense was far from balanced. The 'Noles must return to their even-scoring attack if they are going to get back to their winning ways.

The unexpected defeat will certainly not sit well with Seminole supporters, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel. If this loss is just an aberration, then the 'Noles may still be sitting atop the mountain's peak at season's end.

And if that were the case, they would be sitting there alone.

Matt Ritter is the basketball reporter for NoleDigest.com and a graduate student in Media Communication Studies at Florida State.

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