No. 18 Florida State regrouping for Notre Dame
The bad news for the Florida State men's basketball team heading into the final stretch of the Atlantic Coast Conference season is that its eight-game winning streak is over.
The good news -- if there is any to come out of a loss -- is that the Seminoles' streak was snapped by one of the hottest teams in the country.
The other piece of good news for No. 18 Florida State (21-6 overall, 9-5 ACC) is that it will get a chance to fight its way back into the race for a top-four ACC Tournament seed when it hosts Notre Dame (13-14, 3-11) on Monday in Tallahassee.
Florida State was trounced Saturday 77-59 by North Carolina, which also beat then-No. 1 Duke earlier in the week and rose from No. 8 to No. 5 in the Associated Press Top 25 poll Monday. The Seminoles' loss hurt their chances at a top-four seed in the ACC tourney, which would be good for a double-bye when the event begins March 12 in Charlotte, N.C.
Florida State is now fifth in the ACC standings, a half game behind No. 20 Virginia Tech (21-6, 10-5), which is in fourth place.
"We've got to have a quick recovery," Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton said after Saturday's loss to North Carolina.
The game Monday against the Fighting Irish -- who sit second-to-last in the ACC standings -- also marks the first of three contests in a row that Florida State will play at home before the regular-season finale at Wake Forest. The Seminoles went 2-1 on their recent three-game road trip.
Florida State hosts N.C. State on March 2, followed by the Hokies on March 5.
Notre Dame comes in having lost three in a row and four of its last five. The Fighting Irish's last game was a 67-59 defeat to the Hokies on Saturday, so they will also be on short rest come Monday.
Despite all that, head coach Mike Brey likes some things he's seen out of his team during this rough stretch in February.
"The one thing about this group the whole time they come in every day," Brey told TV station WNDU in South Bend, Ind.. "They are really coachable. I think our leadership has been great. It's easy to lead when you are 8-2 or 7-3, but when you are 2-8 and swinging and scratching and clawing, that puts a little more pressure on your guys.
"We have great kids who come in and say, 'Okay coach us today and what do we need to do,' they are open to that."
Florida State forward Mfiondu Kabengele is leading the team -- off the bench -- with 13.2 points per game, in addition to 5.6 rebounds.
Notre Dame guard TJ Gibbs leads the Irish with 14.1 points per game, just ahead of forward John Mooney (14), who leads the team in rebounding (10.9).
--Field Level Media
Updated February 25, 2019