This post originally appeared at The Daily Nole on Feb. 16, 2018
Florida State picked up a huge victory on Wednesday by completing a comeback for the ages. The Seminoles trailed by as many as 18 early in the second half before rallying for an improbable 81-79 overtime victory over 11th-ranked Clemson.
The thriller, which resulted in a win over the Tigers, is certainly up there as far as comebacks go. For this piece, we’ll remember the five largest ACC deficits erased by the Seminoles in victories during head coach Leonard Hamilton’s tenure:
5. Miami 54, FSU 55 — Feb. 1, 2015
Super Bowl Sunday in February 2015 turned out to be a super day for the Seminoles. Against 23rd-ranked Miami at home, Florida State twice fell behind by 16 in the first half. After cutting the lead to 11 at the break, the Seminoles continued to chip away. FSU was finally able to pull ahead, 53-52, on a layup by Xavier Rathan-Mayes with 4:33 to play. From there, each team scored just once more with a jumper from Kiel Turpin being the deciding basket with less than two minutes to play. Davon Reed and Sheldon McClellan each had opportunities to put Miami ahead in the final minute-plus, but each missed.
4. FSU 68, Duke 67 — Feb. 4, 2007
No. 4 on the list also comes on Super Bowl Sunday, but on that big sporting day, it was FSU who won at one of college basketball’s grandest venues. The Seminoles trailed 27-10 early on, but crawled to with three by the break and stayed close the rest of the way. A 15-6 run late in the game gave the Seminoles a 68-62 lead with 3:25 to play, but FSU wouldn’t score again. Duke cut the lead to one and had three shots from point-blank range in the final seconds, but could not score. Al Thornton scored 21 points to lead the Seminoles.
3. Clemson 79, FSU 81 (Overtime) — Feb. 14, 2018
The most recent on our list is the aforementioned contest that happened Wednesday night at the Donald L. Tucker Center. With FSU fighting for its NCAA Tournament lives against No. 11 Clemson, the Seminoles fell behind by 18 early in the second half. FSU was able to draw even at 59, but an 11-5 run put Clemson up by six with less than 90 seconds to play. The Seminoles managed to score the final six points of regulation, capped by a driving basket from guard Trent Forrest. After falling behind by four in overtime, another contorting shot by Forrest put the Seminoles ahead for good in the victory. FSU didn’t lead until 1:06 remained in the extra period.
2. FSU 65, Clemson 61 — Feb. 7, 2009
Clemson makes the list again for a contest that happened nine years prior at Littlejohn Coliseum. Against the 10th-ranked Tigers, FSU trailed 44-25 with 15 minutes to play before closing the game on a 40-17 run. FSU’s first lead since the game’s first minute came on a basket by Solomon Alabi with two minutes to play. Toney Douglas scored a game-high 23 points for FSU and went 5-for-6 from the free throw line down the stretch to help seal the victory. Clemson managed just two points over the final 4:19.
1. North Carolina 81, FSU 90 — Jan. 22, 2004
It looked like a lost cause for Florida State at home against No. 7 North Carolina during the 2003-04 season. The Tar Heels led by as many as 24 in the first half and by a 67-49 margin with less than 13 minutes to play. From there on out however, Tim Pickett and the Seminoles couldn’t be stopped. Down 78-75, FSU’s Alexander Johnson came through with a key block in the final seconds after it looked like Sean May would score an easy layup for North Carolina. After a defender fell for the Tar Heels on the other end, Todd Galloway knocked down a 3-pointer to tie the game with 7.2 seconds remaining and overtime came after Jawad Williams missed an open look to win the game on the other end. The Seminoles scored the first 11 points in overtime with six coming from Pickett to cruise to the victory.
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