The Florida State Seminoles won the 2012 ACC basketball championship. Never before could that be said until this season. And even though FSU’s early exit from the NCAA Tournament was a disappointment, the conference tournament title will be remembered as one of the program’s greatest accomplishments.
FSU had been chipping away at North Carolina and Duke for several years and finally caught them, at least for a season. The Seminoles went 4-1 versus the bluebloods, going 3-0 away from home and earning the fourth win by 33 points over a UNC team that could have been the best in the nation when healthy.
But, the Seminoles had some puzzling losses, such as falling to Harvard on a neutral site, at home to Princeton on a night when FSU had 10 points at the half, and at Boston College in February. Yet, the Noles grew from those experiences and developed into a team that could beat win the ACC Tournament.
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FSU finished the season 25-10 overall and 12-4 in the ACC. Here is the report card from the Seminoles’ season:
FSU offense: Even though the Seminoles put forth some horrific offensive performances, they still finished above the middle of the ACC in scoring (69.8 ppg), field goal percentage (45.6 percent), 3-point percentage (35.4) and assists. This veteran team too often flubbed offensively, which kept it from having a 30-win season and higher seed in the NCAA Tournament, which would have meant an easier path and likely appearance in the Sweet 16, at least. Grade: C+.
FSU defense: The best defensive program in the ACC continued shutting down foes. FSU was first in the ACC in defensive field goal percentage (38.1), 3rd in 3-point defense (30.9), and just didn’t let teams comfortably run their offenses. This has been the backbone of Leonard Hamilton’s program, and when the offense can somewhat catch up the Seminoles are usually very good. That was the case this season. Grade: A.
FSU intangibles: Smart team, excellent defensively, dialed in with Hamilton’s directives, and mature. Tough, physical, and cagey. If only the Seminoles played that way all season they could have put forth an even more special season. Grade: B.
FSU final grade: First ACC championship in school history, three seed in the NCAA Tournament, 3rd round, 4-1 record against Duke and UNC, and Coach of the Year for Hamilton. Even with the “what ifs” that is a pretty darn good year for a so-called football school. Grade: A.