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Home > News > DAILY DISH: Florida State downs Duke, Notre Dame upsets Syracuse, rest of Saturday’s best

DAILY DISH: Florida State downs Duke, Notre Dame upsets Syracuse, rest of Saturday’s best

By: Kels Dayton

Michael Snaer silenced the Dukies with a buzzer-beating dagger to give FSU its fourth straight win. (AP Photo/Gary Broome)

Michael Snaer’s gorgeous game-winner (scroll up a bit if you missed it) gave Florida State a huge road win at Duke, and put the Seminoles back in the conversation for an ACC title. FSU hit the skids in late November, losing to Harvard, Connecticut, and Michigan State, and then seemingly blew up over the holidays, losing to Princeton in triple overtime before getting blown out at Clemson. The Seminoles were almost certainly on their way to becoming one of the nation’s most disappointing teams, after entering the season with hopes of improving on last year’s Sweet 16 finish. But, as John Hiatt once said, “Just when you think you’ve been gipped, the bearded lady comes and does a double backflip”. Deep stuff.

Florida State blasted No. 3 North Carolina in Tallahassee, 90-57, and then took care of Maryland at home before waltzing to Cameron Indoor Stadium and ending Duke’s 45-game home win streak. Michael Snaer had 14 points, and drilled the game-winner off of a beautiful find from guard Luke Loucks. “When it went in, I didn’t know what to think,” said Snaer after the game. “It was amazing.” At 4-1 in the ACC, the ‘Noles are now more than back on track, and could find themselves back in the rankings come Monday.

  • Notre Dame fans stormed the court after another win over a No. 1 team. (AP Photo/Joe Raymond)

    Notre Dame came up with the other huge upset of the day, knocking off No. 1 Syracuse in South Bend with a dominant 67-58 win. The Irish (12-8, 4-3 Big East) led the entire way, cruising to an 11-2 start and building as much as a 17-point lead early in the second half. Jack Cooley had 17 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Irish. Notre Dame head coach Mike Brey pumped his team up for the game by showing a highlight reel of past Notre Dame teams knocking off the No. 1 team in the country, something the school has now accomplished six times. This Notre Dame team doesn’t have many quality wins, but doesn’t have any bad losses, either, and it wouldn’t be impossible for them to make a run at the NCAAs. If the Irish do get there, this will be one of Brey’s best coaching jobs, and that’s saying something.

  • Arkansas and Mississippi State each came away with huge resume wins on Saturday. The Razorbacks outlasted Michigan at always-intimidating Bud Walton Arena, surviving a late rally to hang on to a 66-64 win. Head coach Mike Anderson has returned the Razorbacks to their national championship-winning roots, bringing back the ’40 Minutes of Hell’ defense conceptualized by the legendary Nolan Richardson and making Fayetteville a tough place to play once again.Anderson served as an assistant to Richardson during the team’s back-to-back trips to the Final game in 1994 and 1995. He’s a solid coach with Razorback roots and a winning pedigree, and he’s already got Arkansas in position to reach the NCAAs this season after a three-year absence. Mississippi State (16-4, 3-2 SEC)  got 24 from Dee Bost and 21 from Arnett Moultrie, and handed Vanderbilt its first loss in SEC play in a 78-77 overtime win. Vandy likely would have returned to the Top 25 if it had pulled the game out, but the Bulldogs badly needed to avoid falling below .500 in the SEC after falling to Ole Miss on Wednesday night.

Anderson's playing style has Razorback fans reminiscing about the good old days. (SI Vault)

ROONEY-LIKE RANTS:

  • Georgetown (16-3, 6-2 Big East) scored seven straight points and pulled one out of the fire at home against Rutgers, edging the Scarlet Knights 52-50…Kentucky used clutch free throw shooting to hand Alabama its third straight loss, 77-71…Pittsburgh continued its shocking freefall, losing at home to Louisville,73-62, and falling to 0-7 in the Big East…Tennessee got 16 points from 17-year old freshman Jarnell Stokes, who was in high school at the start of the season, and downed Connecticut, 60-57…Missouri outmuscled Baylor, 89-88 in Waco in a matchup of top-five teams….Murray State stayed unbeaten by taking down something called SIU-Edwardsville…and Long Beach state regulated UCSB in a showdown of Big West powers. Congrats, Snoop Dogg. What a Saturday of hoops.
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