DURHAM, N.C. (seminoles.com) — No. 24/25 Florida State, which has won 11 of its first 12 games of the year for the second consecutive season, opens its 27th season of ACC Basketball as it travels to play No. 3/4 Duke at Cameron Indoor Stadium on Saturday, Dec. 30, 2017. The game will be televised nationally by CBS. The Seminoles’ game against the Blue Devils marks the fourth time in their ACC history that they have opened their conference schedule against a nationally ranked Duke team (also 1996-97, 2000-01 and 2008-09). Florida State enters Saturday’s game ranked 24th nationally in the Associated Press poll and 25th nationally in the USA Today Coaches poll. It marks the third consecutive week and 18th week in the last two seasons the Seminoles have been nationally ranked. Florida State has won each of its last two games (over Charleston Southern and Southern Miss) after opening the season with nine consecutive wins – its second longest winning streak in the last two seasons after winning a school-record 12 consecutive games and vaulting to the nation’s No. 6 ranking during the months of December of January last season. Following Saturday’s game against Duke, the Seminoles play host to No. 13/14 North Carolina (Jan. 3 in Tallahassee) and travel to play at No. 15/16 Miami (Jan. 7 in Coral Gables).
SEMINOLES OPEN ACC PLAY WITH A STRING OF THREE CONSECUTIVE RANKED TEAMS
No. 24/25 Florida State opens ACC play with games at No. 3/4 Duke (Dec. 30), a home game against No. 13/14 North Carolina (Jan. 3), at No. 15/16 Miami (Jan. 7) and with consecutive home games against Louisville (Jan. 10) and Syracuse (Jan. 13). The Seminoles’ opening stretch of games brings to mind the gauntlet the Seminoles ran through to open the 2016-17 season with games at No. 11 Virginia (Won, 60-58) against No. 21 Virginia Tech (Won, 93-78), No. 7 Duke (Won, 88-72), at No. 11 North Carolina (Lost, 96-83), against No. 15 Notre Dame (Won, 83-80) and No. 12 Louisville (Won, 73-68) in what is the most successful streak of success against six consecutive ranked teams in ACC history. Florida State’s 5-1 record in those six consecutive games helped them to a 26-9 overall record, a 12-6 record in ACC play, a second place finish in the ACC standings and a No. 3 seed in the NCAA Tournament.
SEMINOLES OFF TO BEST START SINCE … LAST YEAR
At 11-1, Florida State is off to its best 12-game start since the beginning of the 2016-17 season (last year) when the Seminoles also won 11 of their first 12 games. The Seminoles improved to 15-1 in 2016-17 before suffering their second loss of the season. Florida State begins play in its 13th game of a season with an 11-1 record for the fifth time in school history. The Seminoles have been 11-1 five times in school history – most recently during the 2016-17 season.
SEMINOLES AND HAMILTON AGAINST RANKED DUKE TEAMS
Florida State enters Saturday’s game against No. 3/4 Duke with 39 wins over ranked teams during the 16-year tenure of Leonard Hamilton at Florida State. Included in those 39 wins over ranked teams are seven wins over nationally ranked Duke teams including a win over the No. 6 ranked Blue Devils (March 10, 2012, 62-59) in the semifinals of the ACC Tournament at Philips Arena in Atlanta. The Seminoles defeated No. 4 North Carolina one day later to win the first ACC Championship in school history.
LOOK FOR FLORIDA STATE TO…
…Defeat No. 3/4 Duke and gain its second win of the season over a nationally ranked team. The Seminoles defeated No. 5 ranked Florida (in Gainesville), by an 83-66 margin – their largest margin of victory (+17) over a top-five ranked AP team since joining the ACC for the 1991-92 season;
…Defeat No. 3/4 Duke and gain a true road win on the home court of a top-10 ranked for the second consecutive season. The Seminoles won at Florida in Gainesville (Dec. 4, 2017) earlier this season;
…Defeat No. 3/4 Duke and win its ACC opener for the second consecutive season. Combined with its victory over Wake Forest to begin ACC play a season ago, it would mark the first time (and second time in school history) that the Seminoles had won their ACC opener in consecutive seasons (1998-99 at Virginia and 1999-00 at Wake Forest);
…Defeat No. 3/4 Duke and gain their eighth win over Duke in the 16-year tenure of Seminole Head Coach Leonard Hamilton. The Seminoles defeated Duke three times before Hamilton became Florida State’s head coach to begin the 2002-03 season.
FLORIDA STATE AGAINST THE TOP FIVE IN THE MONTH OF DECEMBER
Since Florida State joined the ACC for the 1991-92 season, the Seminoles are 3-2 against Top 5 ranked teams in games played in the month of December. The Seminoles won their first ever ACC game against No. 5 ranked North Carolina in the famous “wine and cheese” game at the Smith Center in Chapel, Hill, N.C. on Dec. 15, 1991.
NOTING FLORIDA STATE’S VICTORIES
Florida State has earned 10 of its 11 victories by double figures with and enjoys a +20.3 points per game scoring margin. The Seminoles’ 53-point victory over Southern Miss in their last games (98-54) is tied for the ninth-most lopsided win in school history. Florida State has gained 10 of its 11 victories by double figures with five of its wins coming by at least 20 points.
FLORIDA STATE BY HALF
Florida State has outscored its first 12 opponents in 23 of 24 halves of basketball this season (.958). The Seminoles have been outscored by only one team (Oklahoma State) in one half of basketball (second half, 32-37) entering Saturday’s game against Duke.