By AMANDA NEPPL / Staff Writer
Florida State men’s basketball team hosted the Miami Hurricanes this past Saturday. The ‘Noles celebrated Senior Night, as well as their 18-0 record at home, which is the ‘Noles first unbeaten home season in 41 years, according to ESPN. Only a win against Miami – try 66-57 – could seal that record for Florida State.
Michael Ojo was among the starters for Saturday’s game, and it was one of Ojo’s last. In a Tallahassee Democrat article, writer Corey Clark reports that “for now [Ojo] plans on relishing these last games of his college career.” Ojo is originally from Lagos, Nigeria; Clark writes that Ojo has not seen his family for five years since he left his hometown. “A free education in America is something you can’t beat. So I said I have to go do this for us,” says Ojo on his decision to play basketball in the United States. Before coming to Florida State, Ojo attended a small Tennessee prep school, according to Clark. Nearly two years later, he signed with the ‘Noles. “It’s been five years and I still have a lot of room to improve. But now I have a better understanding of what it takes to play in the ACC.” The ‘Noles have a long road ahead of them as their season is not over, and with it being Ojo’s last year, they have no reason not to reach their goals.
At Florida State’s game against Miami in Coral Gables, Miami fans began to leave after they realized the ‘Canes could not keep up. The ‘Noles finished on top with a 75-57 win over the ‘Canes. Clearly, at home or away, Miami is no match for Florida State. “The Seminoles have won both regular-season games against Miami for the fifth time in ACC play and first time since 2011,” writes ESPN. Will they play the ‘Canes again in the ACC tournaments? ESPN writes that Florida State could play either Virginia Tech, Wake Forest, or Boston College at 7pm on Thursday, March 9. This year, the ACC rounds take place in the Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn, New York.
Based on the Seminole’s performance at home, they need to channel that same energy during these next few weeks, where they will play on various courts across the country. Paul Kasabian for the Bleacher Report writes “UNC should win easily over Syracuse, which is no match for the Tar Heels,” which he compares to Dwayne Bacon’s exceptionality against Wake Forest’s Demon Deacons. “That was the case when Bacon dropped 23 points in a 88-72 win in December.” Kasabian continues with “UVA will face FSU on the other side of the bracket.” The ‘Noles played the Virginia Cavaliers on New Year’s Eve in Charlottesville, Virginia, and they won by two points. The game situated the ‘Noles at the end of a 10 game-winning streak, which included their ACC/BIG 10 Challenge win against Minnesota and their 67-48 win over George Washington University at the BB&T Classic in Washington D.C. Currently, UVA is ranked 21st, according CBS Sports while Florida State places 12th with a one-up behind Duke.
Florida State is in for a rude awakening this week and the weeks to follow. This season has proved to be one of the best seasons quite a while for the ‘Noles, but there is still more work to do. Coach Leonard Hamilton comments to ESPN, “We want to get as much out of this season that we can. Let’s go do some other things that will give us fonder memories.”