Really, was there any doubt who would get the ball for that final shot by the Seminoles?
For the fourth time in two years and the second time in three games, Michael Snaer canned the game winning three point shot giving Florida State the 73-71 victory over the Maryland Terrapins.
Ian Miller dribbled into the lane, nearly slipping and falling, but managed to keep his balance. The Terps defense collapsed with Dex Wells inexplicably leaving Snaer to help on Miller. The mistake proved costly as Miller spotted the wide open Snaer on the left wing, who promptly added to his game winners highlight reel.
Tied at thirty four at the half, the Seminoles trailed for much of the game taking narrow leads just a handful of times totaling less than four minutes of clock time.
FSU led just twice in the second half with the last lead before the dramatic ending occurring with 14:02 to play on Montay Brandon's layup in transition. That lead was erased thirty seconds later when Nick Faust hit a three from the left wing and was hit on the arm on the play by Snaer for the four point play.
That looked like a momentum builder for Maryland, who stretched out to a 54-48 lead and eventually a 62-54 lead on back to back baskets by Terp's big man Alex Len. The latter came on a alley oop for the slam dunk with 6:50 to play. They were Len's only points in the game as foul trouble and defense limited his contributions.
Maryland would go back to that play later in the game that proved to be a crucial moment for FSU.
It was close. For a while anyway.
With 3:12 to play in the first half Florida State trailed by just two points, 28-26.
But in the end, the Seminoles ended knowing what Duke felt like after playing Miami last Wednesday night.
A 9-2 run at the end of the first period for a 37-28 halftime lead only snowballed in the second en route to a 71-47 pasting of FSU by the Hurricanes.
Leonard Hamilton called it "beating ourselves." More accurately it would be FSU's inability to make shots while Miami was making them.
For the game Miami connected on 43% of their shots. Not a great percentage. But with the Seminoles shooting just 30%, it was more than enough.
And as the game slipped away the 'Noles launched the long ball in attempt to get back in the game. That failed miserably with FSU missing on all ten three point attempts in the second period and just 3-17 for the game.
Imagine him accelerating past flat-footed DBs on the football field. Bracy gave a hint of his speed burst on Saturday at the Razorback Invitational with a time of 6.61 seconds in the 60-meter dash finals, a tenth of a second ahead of the nearest sprinter.
“I was really nervous because of my hamstring, and I hadn’t competed since last May,” Bracy said. “It’s very exciting to go out there and do what I said I was going to do. This gives me something to build on.”
Poor shooting manifested itself where FSU shot just 32% from the floor in the first half compared to 52% for the Tigers. And of course Michael Snaer had to be the focus of fan's consternation because once again the senior was non existent having scored just two points in the first period.
And where was that junkyard defense? After taking a 16-13 lead on Aaron Thomas' three, the only three of the half in six attempts, Clemson went on a 16-0 (not coincidentally when Okaro White took the bench with two fouls) to move out to a 29-13 advantage.
The Seminoles managed to get below that psychological double digit barrier, closing the half time score to 29-21.
The frustration of fans watching the game probably grew even more after the 'Noles got down by twelve in the second half and shots were still not falling.
Hopefully no one turned the game off because Leonard Hamilton's teams have a way of making things interesting just when you think they are dead and buried. A shot here and there starts to fall, defensive stops occur and next thing you know FSU trailed just 44-40.