FSU Basketball: Ranking Five Remaining Regular Season Games of 2017

FSU basketball will finish the regular season with five ACC contests – and we rank them up based on who will give the ‘Noles the biggest challenge.

With over 80 percent of the regular season in the rearview mirror, FSU basketball is officially in the home stretch of what could still end up to be one of the best seasons in program history. At 21-5, the Seminoles are still (barring a major letdown) on pace to have the most regular season wins in program history to go along with maybe the highest seed ever for the NCAA Tournament.

But before all of that can take place, the ‘Noles look to finish their regular season with a handful of games that will feature both teams that, on paper, should be easy wins – and some visits to locations that have not been friendly to them in recent years.

Let’s take a look at the final five games of the regular season for FSU basketball and rank them in order of toughness for the Seminoles.

Jan 23, 2016; Tallahassee, FL, USA; Pittsburgh Panthers forward Alonzo Nelson-Ododa (33) and Florida State Seminoles guards Dwayne Bacon (4) and Terrance Mann (14) go after a rebound during the first half of the game at the Donald L. Tucker Center. Mandatory Credit: Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports

Jan 23, 2016; Tallahassee, FL, USA; Pittsburgh Panthers forward Alonzo Nelson-Ododa (33) and Florida State Seminoles guards Dwayne Bacon (4) and Terrance Mann (14) go after a rebound during the first half of the game at the Donald L. Tucker Center. Mandatory Credit: Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports

No. 5 – vs. Boston College (Monday, Feb. 20th)

A decade ago, the Eagles came into the ACC and hung with the big boys – jumping out and winning four of the first five in the series with Florida State. In the 2016-17 season, Boston College is looking up at every other team in the conference as the 15th place team – in a 15 team conference.

The Seminoles won both meetings between the schools last season – including a 22 point win in the conference tournament – and should have no problem winning their sixth straight in this series (and ninth win in the last 10 meetings).

No. 4 – at Pittsburgh (Saturday, Feb. 18th)

All-time, the Panthers have dominated this series with FSU basketball getting just three wins in their 14 meetings – which includes a 2-2 records since Pitt joined the ACC. The Seminoles have won just once in the previous seven times they have taken on the Panthers on their home court.

However, many of those losses were against Pittsburgh teams who were much better than what has been put on the court this season. If not for the previously mentioned Boston College Eagles being in the conference, it would be Pitt in dead last looking up at everyone else. With a week off to prepare, Florida State should be able to come out and take care of business.

Feb 5, 2017; Tallahassee, FL, USA; Florida State Seminoles guard Dwayne Bacon (4) moves the ball around Clemson Tigers guard Marcquise Reed (2) during the second half at the Donald L. Tucker Center. Mandatory Credit: Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports

Feb 5, 2017; Tallahassee, FL, USA; Florida State Seminoles guard Dwayne Bacon (4) moves the ball around Clemson Tigers guard Marcquise Reed (2) during the second half at the Donald L. Tucker Center. Mandatory Credit: Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports

No. 3 – at Clemson (Saturday, Feb. 25th)

If you don’t think for a second that the Tigers are going to forget the 48 point beatdown that the Seminoles put on them a couple Sundays ago, you may not know a lot about sports. The men in orange are going to be looking for blood with their payback efforts when FSU basketball heads to the Palmetto State.

The Tigers are not as bad of a team as that score in Tallahassee might indicate. While they are right now in the bottom third of the standings, Clemson has been in many of the games they lost – including a two point loss to Duke, four point loss to Virginia and three point overtime loss to UNC. FSU basketball hasn’t had much luck on the road, losing 11 of the last 15 road games in this series.

No. 2 – vs. Miami (Saturday, March 4th)

After losing two straight games on the road, it looked like the Seminoles may suffer a third straight defeat after the first half in Coral Gables on February 1st. Then, a lightbulb seemed to have gone off and FSU looked like the team of old and coasted to an 18 point win. Not only did it break a losing streak this season, but a three game slump against the rival Hurricanes.

Sitting squarely on the bubble and needing plenty of help for their resume, the ‘Canes are going to come into Tallahassee hungry and desperate to get a road win and get into the big dance. Head coach Jim Larranaga has a team that is capable of beating a top 10 team – and then turning around and losing to someone from the Horizon League if they aren’t careful.

fsu basketball

Jan 10, 2017; Tallahassee, FL, USA; Florida State Seminoles guard Xavier Rathan-Mayes reacts after an and-1 during the second half against the Duke Blue Devils at the Donald L. Tucker Center. Mandatory Credit: Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports

No. 1 – at Duke (Tuesday, Feb. 28th)

It was just over a month ago that not only did FSU basketball get a win over the Blue Devils in the middle of their six game streak of playing ranked foes – but they came out and dominated one of college basketball’s standard bearers when it comes to tradition and winning. The only down part was that a win like that was at home – since FSU’s road resume could use some padding.

Florida State needs another road win to secure a possible top two seed in one regional for the NCAA tournament. With the other road games left being against bottom of the barrel conference teams, this is a huge chance in an arena the Seminoles have won just twice in during their 21 visits to Durham.

This year’s Duke team is riding the line to stay in the top third of the ACC but is fully capable of making a deep run and winning the whole conference. It’s not a stretch to say that the final outcome will not be as big for the ‘Noles in this one if they can escape Durham with a win.

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