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Michael Snaer caps off an improbable comeback for 1st place Florida State

Michael Snaer, Kiel Turpin

Florida State’s Michael Snaer, right, celebrates his game-winning 3-point shot with teammate Kiel Turpin in the final seconds of an NCAA college basketball game against Virginia Tech on Thursday, Feb. 16, 2012 in Tallahassee, Fla. Florida State won 48-47. (AP Photo/Steve Cannon)


Florida State made one of the most improbable comebacks you’ll ever see in their 48-47 win over Virginia Tech on Thursday night.

The Hokies used a 17-0 run over the first six minutes of the second half to open up a 40-25 lead as the Seminoles looked utterly lost offensively. In fact, over the first 11:56 of the second half, Florida State managed all of four points and found themselves still trailing 46-37 before Jeff Peterson hit a three with 1:13 left on the clock.

That’s when everything fell apart for the Hokies. They missed five of their last six free throws as Florida State chipped away at the lead, first with a layup from Okaro White and then a three from deep in the corner from Ian Miller. That cut the lead to 47-45 with 44 seconds left in the game. But after Dorian Finney-Smith missed a jumper and Robert Brown missed two free throws, Michael Snaer hit another game-winning three on a play that was eerily similar to his buzzer-beater to beat Duke earlier this season.

The numbers are fairly mind-blowing. Florida State had managed all of 12 points in almost 19 minutes in the second half. But in the final 73 seconds, they went on a 13-1 run to close out the game and leave with the victory. That run means that the Seminoles remain in a tie for first place in the ACC with both Duke and North Carolina.

And while the finish was as exciting as basketball at this level gets, the way Florida State went about winning this game is more of a cause for concern than it is a sign that this team belongs among the elite in the ACC.

The knock on the Seminoles all season long as been that they are a maddeningly inconsistent team offensively. They go through droughts where it makes you wonder how this team is capable of scoring. They have had a couple of nice wins -- including a four-game stretch where they scored more than 75 points each time out while knocking off both the Tar Heels and the Blue Devils -- but those wins shouldn’t make you forget about the losses to Harvard, Princeton, Clemson and Boston College.

Because as we saw tonight, Florida State is as capable as any team in the country of completely losing their focus offensively. And its not like they did it against a powerhouse. Virginia Tech is a team that has struggled all season long that went into Tallahassee on Thursday without two key pieces in Victor Davilla and CJ Barksale. They also dealt with cramps all game long, sending Jarell Eddie to the bench and depleting their depth so much that Barksdale was forced to change out of his sweats and take off his walking boot as an insurance.

At full strength, Virginia Tech is not a team that Florida State should be struggling with at home, let alone when they come in battling injuries.

If Florida State has this kind of performance against a good team -- hell, a healthy team -- they are going to be in trouble.

And I’m supposed to trust them come tournament time?

Rob Dauster is the editor of the college basketball website Ballin’ is a Habit. You can find him on twitter @ballinisahabit.

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