Florida State looks to avoid dubious loss at Virginia Tech


Florida State’s unusually sluggish season could end with a historic thud in Saturday’s regular-season finale at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Va.

Mired in their first losing campaign since their penalty-adjusted 0-13 finish in 2006-07, the Seminoles (9-21, 7-12 Atlantic Coast Conference) are one loss away from setting the program record for the most defeats in a season. The 2000-01 team finished 9-21.

“This (season) is a speedbump, not a trainwreck,” coach Leonard Hamilton said after his Seminoles’ 77-66 home loss to North Carolina on Monday. “We’ll get back to where we’re supposed to be.”

Florida State has remained resilient throughout its treacherous campaign.

A third of its wins have featured a double-digit comeback, highlighted by a 25-point second-half rally at then-No. 13 Miami on Feb. 25.

Matthew Cleveland scored 18 points after halftime and buried a 3-pointer at the buzzer to help the Seminoles stun the Hurricanes, 85-84.

Cleveland posts a team-best 14.2 points and 7.7 rebounds per game, while Caleb Mills is averaging 19.7 points and 5.0 rebounds over Florida State’s last three contests.

Virginia Tech (17-13, 7-12) has also fought through a down year, particularly in league play.

The Hokies lost seven of eight to begin conference action and are ticketed for only their second losing season in the ACC since 2014-15.

Virginia Tech enters its home finale on a high note after dispatching Louisville 71-54 on Tuesday.

Grant Basile’s 18 points led the way for the Hokies, who earned their first road win against the Cardinals since 1991. Justyn Mutts grabbed 12 rebounds for Tech, including the 1,000th of his career.

Mutts is just the second active player in Division I with 1,500 points, 1,000 boards and 400 assists in his career.

“It speaks on how awesome my career has been, what a beautiful blessing it’s been to play along with really good players,” Mutts said, per the Roanoke Times. “It’s definitely something I don’t take for granted.”

Virginia Tech snapped its six-game losing streak against Florida State with an 85-72 road win in the teams’ last meeting Jan. 29, 2022.

–Field Level Media

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