The Daily Nole

FSU Hoops’ Top 5 Moments vs. Duke

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Florida State hopes to make a major statement on Saturday as the top-ranked Duke Blue Devils come to the Donald L. Tucker Center. Under head coach Mike Krzyzewski, the Blue Devils have won five national championships and played in 12 Final Fours.

Given the perennial power that Duke is, Florida State has actually had a modicum of success against the Blue Devils over the last 15 years. Head coach Leonard Hamilton and the Seminoles hope to make more memories on Saturday.

In this piece, we look back at FSU hoops’ five best moments against the Blue Devils. Narrowly missing the list was FSU’s 79-74 upset of No. 1 Duke in March 2006.

5. First Win at Cameron
FSU 68, (8) Duke 67
Feb. 4, 2007

FSU rallied from 17 points down to top Duke in February 2007. (FSU athletics)

Florida State had never won at Cameron Indoor Stadium when they arrived on Super Bowl Sunday in 2007. Early on, it looked as though that streak would continue as the Seminoles fell into an early 17-point hole. FSU was able to claw its way to within three at the break. The Seminoles led for most of the second half, but Duke closed within one with 2:31 to go and from there, neither team would score. On the final possession of the game, Duke’s Josh McRoberts missed a floater and DeMarcus Nelson was unable to convert on the putback as the Seminoles left Durham with their first road win ever over the Blue Devils. Al Thornton finished with 21 points and eight rebounds to pace FSU in the victory.

4. Wells Rattles Home the Winner
(6) Duke 88, FSU 89 (Overtime)
Jan. 24, 1993

It was desperation mode for Florida State late in overtime at the Leon County Civic Center in January 1993. The Seminoles had played from behind for most of the day, rallying from 11 points down in the first half and 10 down in the second to force overtime. With Doug Edwards having fouled out, FSU turned to an unlikely hero. Trailing the defending national champions 88-86 late in overtime, senior forward Byron Wells was forced to heave up a desperation trey, which hit about every part of the rim before dropping with three seconds remaining. The shot served as the game-winner against the talent-rich Blue Devils led by Bobby Hurley, Grant Hill, and Christian Laettner. Wells was a perfect 4-for-4 on the day with 10 points. Edwards led FSU with 21 points and 12 boards before fouling out.

3. FSU Advances to Second ACC Title Game in Four Years
(17) FSU 62, (6) Duke 59 (ACC Tournament)
March 10, 2012

Florida State had fallen to Duke in the ACC Championship three years prior as the third-seeded Seminoles eyed a return trip against second-seeded Duke in the ACC semifinals. The contest was tight all throughout the second half. Junior guard Michael Snaer, who had delivered a dagger to Duke early in the year, would put FSU ahead for good with a triple with 3:27 remaining. FSU was able to push its lead to three in the waning seconds when the Blue Devils forced a late turnover, forcing guard Seth Curry to hoist a desperation shot from near midcourt. The shot rimmed out and the Seminoles advanced to the ACC Championship for the second time in four years, where they would ultimately defeat North Carolina for their first conference title. Snaer led FSU with 16 points, six assists, two rebounds and two steals.

2. FSU Gets First-Ever Win Over No. 1 Team
FSU 77, (1) Duke 76
Jan. 6, 2002

To open ACC play for the 2002 calendar year, FSU was stuck with hosting undefeated and No. 1 Duke. The Blue Devils led by Jay Williams and Carlos Boozer were seemingly invincible, but early on, the Seminoles were sharp. FSU led by four at the break and by as many as 13 in the second half before the contest went back and forth down the stretch. FSU trailed by four in the final minute before a 3-pointer from Antwuan Dixon cut the lead to one. Trailing 76-75 with less than 10 seconds, FSU guard Monty Cummings drove the baseline, adjusting in midair for the go-ahead layup. Williams was unable to free himself up for a quality look on the other end, missing wildly before Mike Dunleavy Jr.’s tip rimmed out at the buzzer, giving the Seminoles their first-ever win over a No. 1 ranked team. Cummings paced Florida State with 16 points while Delvon Arrington added 13 points and 10 assists. Williams scored 26 points for Duke in the loss.

1. Snaer Sinks Duke in Cameron
FSU 76, (4) Duke 73
Jan. 21, 2012

Duke had won 45 straight games as home as Florida State came to town in 2012 and throughout the second half, it was clear that the Blue Devils were in a dogfight. Duke led by double-digits in the first half, but that lead was 32-26 at the break as FSU guard Michael Snaer banked in a 3-pointer as the first half sounded. That buzzer-beating trey however, wouldn’t be the one that most would remember from that day. FSU trailed by eight midway through the second half, but Snaer’s pull-up with under a minute to go pushed the Seminoles in front, 71-70. FSU’s lead would climb to two before Austin Rivers tied the game with a lay-in with less than five seconds to play. Forced to push the basketball, FSU guard Luke Loucks made a b-line toward the paint before finding Snaer open in the right corner. With time to set his feet, Snaer calmly knocked down a triple as the final horn sounded to give the Seminoles a 76-73 win and end Duke’s lengthy home winning streak.

Mike Ferguson is the editor of The Daily Nole. Follow Mike on Twitter @MikeWFerguson

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