A night for revenge?

March 1, 2006

It has been just under a month since the travesty that was the Duke-Florida State game at Cameron Indoor Stadium.

The Seminoles lost that game in overtime 97-96 in a game that was plagued by poor officiating. The center-piece of which a Florida State player got called for an intentional and a technical foul. As those were his fourth and fifth fouls he was ejected from the game. The ACC suspended the referees because the awarding of a technical foul was not warranted.

It was of little consolation to the Seminole nation as it caused our team’s finest effort to be for naught. Florida State owned the paint the day with drive after drive to the basket. Even though the referees gave the ‘Noles few opportunities, they did shoot 90.9% from the foul line that day.

The Seminoles finished February with a record of 4-3 for the month, something that would seem average and unnotable to an outsider. The truth is the opposite. Since the glory days of Charlie Ward, Sam Cassell, and Bob Sura, February has been a month of pain. Last year FSU was 0-8 in that month. 2003 featured a win against number one Duke, but yielded only a 2-5 record. In the most recent year that Florida State went to the NCAA tournament (1998), they were 2-5 in February as well.

So things are looking a little bit up for FSU, but the Seminoles need to win tonight to make something of it. Losing would almost entirely seal Florida State’s chances of making the NCAA tournament as the only opportunity to get noticed would be to make a run deep into the ACC tournament. History argues that the chances of FSU doing that are slim as the only team to make the semi-finals was the aforementioned star-studded squad of 1992. Every other team has failed to make it past Friday.

Even though Duke has won the last 5 match ups, Florida State has had success against Duke at home in recent memory. When Duke came to Tallahassee as the top team in the country in 2002 FSU won 77-76 and won again the following year 75-70.

I close with the piece de resistance:

Yes, that is Duke’s JJ Reddick on the cover of this week’s Sports Illustrated. Victory is assured for FSU. Unless the refs get in the way. Again.

(Thanks to Brendan’s post for bringing that to my attention)

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