Mar 4, 2012; Tallahassee, FL, USA; Florida State Seminoles forward Xavier Gibson (1) takes a shot over Clemson Tigers forward Devin Booker (31) during the second half of the game at the Donald L. Tucker Center. Mandatory Credit: Melina Vastola-US PRESSWIRE
Hamilton Ball makes its triumphant return to the NCAA Tournament, where Florida State will continue to play like the antithesis of the ACC.
The Florida State Seminoles were supposed to finish third in the ACC, and that is exactly where they finished in the regular season. However, they finished in that position in extremely disappointing fashion.
Due to the luck of the draw, they didn't have to play the North Carolina Tar Heels in Chapel Hill. The one meeting between the two teams was a slaughter -- FSU won by 33 points in Tallahassee. One week later, the Seminoles beat the Duke Blue Devils at Cameron Indoor Stadium. Improbably, the ACC title appeared to belong to them, but they found a way to throw it away. FSU lost away to a woeful Boston College team on Feb. 8 before later losing to Duke at home and Miami away in successive games. FSU won its two most difficult games of the season, but couldn't beat inferior BC and Miami teams on the road.
Any doubt about whether or not those two victories were flukes was cleared up during the ACC Tournament, as Florida State rolled past Duke and UNC once again on their way to the conference championship. In the process, the Seminoles enter the NCAA Tournament as the No. 3 seed in the East, facing No. 14 St. Bonaventure in their first game.
If any team that faces FSU in the tournament was hoping to come up against a power conference team that doesn't play defense and that might be undone by a bit of physical play, they will be extremely disappointed to end up with Florida State instead. Leonard Hamilton has been successfully pissing off the ACC's flashy offensive players since 2002. When seniors Bernard James and Xavier Gibson aren't banging people around, Michael Snaer and Ian Miller are pretty effective at putting the ball in the hoop.
For more on the 2012 NCAA Tournament bracket, stay with SB Nation's Selection Sunday StoryStream, and stick around SB Nation's NCAA Tournament hub for a complete printable NCAA Tournament bracket and tons of analysis on who was snubbed, who got the best bracket, and who will make it all the way to New Orleans and the Final Four.