In what was a wild ride in the Atlantic Coast Conference Thursday night, two teams went from elation to devastation in a matter of minutes, even seconds.
It was fun to watch.
North Carolina State was sporting an 20-point lead over fifth-ranked Duke with just over 11 minutes to play. But the Blue Devils reached down into their bag of Cameron Indoor magic tricks and mounted a comeback. N.C. State scores just 12 points over the last 10 minutes of the game and Duke entered their school's record books by erasing the largest second-half deficit at home in Duke's history.
The point differential wasn't quite as insurmountable, but the time span was much shorter, making Florida State's comeback form nine down with 1:13 to play just as heroic as the Duke comeback.
The Seminoles went on a 11-1 run and hit three 3-pointers in the final 1:13 to beat Virginia Tech. Michael Snaer was the hero, again, with a 3-pointer with 2.6 seconds to help Florida State to victory, 48-47.
Jeff Eisenberg of Yahoo! Sports talked about Snaer's shot looking eerily similar to his game-winner over Duke last month . Snaer seems to have a flair for the dramatic, or maybe he just loves buzzer-beaters. What college basketball fans love are great finishes, and the ACC didn't disappoint Thursday.
In fact, these dramatic, come-from-behind finishes are nothing new in the ACC this season. Duke erased a 10-point deficit on Feb. 8 to beat North Carolina in a two and a half minute span to force their game into overtime. And I already mentioned that Snaer has thrust two last-second daggers (Eisenberg pens The Dagger over at Yahoo!, I couldn't resist the pun) into the hearts of opponents this season.
What this means is that no lead is safe in the ACC. Fans watching these games should at no time walk away or switch over to the nightly news. It also means that the ACC Tournament in Atlanta in a few weeks is going to be chock-full of excitement and a free-for-all where any number of teams can come away with the title.
News from Around the South:
Florida State gets very little time to savor this come-from-behind victory over Virginia Tech. The Seminoles turn around Saturday to play N.C. State. It's not lost on me that Florida State orchestrated a comeback Thursday while N.C. State was the victim of another. Can the Wolfpack build a big enough lead Saturday to feel safe? Tallahassee Democrat
Just a few short weeks ago Ole Miss upset in-state rival Mississippi State and firmly supplanted its team on the NCAA bubble. Since then, the Rebels have gone 3-4 and just lost Thursday to Vanderbilt, 102-76, drawing the disgust of some fans who threw ice on the floor. Clarion Ledger
CSS Game Balls
Michael Snaer, Florida State - A 9-point, 4-assist night doesn't usually get you noticed, and on only the rare occasion will it get you a game ball. But Snaer hit a game-winning 3-pointer with 2.6 seconds left to beat Virginia Tech last night. It was his second buzzer-beater of the season in the ACC.
Seth Curry, Duke - The Blue Devils needed just about every one of Curry's season-high 26 points.
Jeffery Taylor, Vanderbilt - Taylor finished with 28 points Thursday, two shy of a career high. But what was really impressive was the fact that he went 8-for-10 in the first half and hit his first seven shots, scoring 23 points before halftime.
"Honestly, I felt sympathy for them because things were going so well," Vanderbilt coach Kevin Stallings after the Commodores roughed up Ole Miss, 102-76.
What to Watch Friday
It's not such a bad thing that the college hoops schedule is thin, as always, Friday. College baseball starts this weekend and there is a plethora of hardball in the South today, including SEC, ACC, Atlantic Sun, Sun Belt well, just about everyone. Go enjoy the ting of a metal bat today.