Joe Sullivan | On college basketball

Florida State is Final Four good

Florida State's Xavier Rathan-Mayes drives the ball up court against Duke's Matt Jones in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game, Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2017, in Tallahassee, Fla. Florida State won 88-72. (AP Photo/Steve Cannon)
Xavier Rathan-Mayes drives to the hoop in Florida State’s 88-72 win over Duke.

Florida State is for real. The Seminoles have been good at times but never this good. Officially, I make them a Final Four contender after watching them destroy Duke on the heels of winning at Virginia.

This isn’t your typical Leonard Hamilton team. He usually prefers half-court, methodical offense and physical, man-to-man defense. These Seminoles fly up and down the court, averaging 86.7 points per game and are the most aggressive offensive team I’ve seen this season. They attack on the offensive end and they have a nice trio of leading scorers in guards Dwayne Bacon and Xavier Rathan-Mayes along with freshman big man Jonathan Isaac (who’s probably heading to the NBA after this season.

They still play rugged defense, holding teams to 39 percent shooting. Good things are happening in Tallahassee and fans are actually interested; the 11,675-seat Tucker Center was sold out for Duke, the first time that’s happened since 2013. Their 12-game winning streak broke a school record set in 1970.


They have a chance for another milestone victory at North Carolina on Saturday (ESPN, 2 p.m.). They’ve lost 10 of their last 11 in Chapel Hill but this is a much different Florida State team.

Other games I’d like to see Saturday:

Get Sports Headlines in your inbox:
The most recent sports headlines delivered to your inbox every morning.
Thank you for signing up! Sign up for more newsletters here

Georgia at Florida: Both are possible NCAA teams but Florida seems to be really getting it together; I expect a decisive victory but we can still all have fun watching Canyon Barry shoot free throws underhanded like his dad, Rick.

Minnesota at Penn State: Amir Coffey is Minnesota’s big freshman and he’s has helped make the Gophers a team for opponents to worry about in the Big Ten.

Virginia at Clemson: Clemson is finding out how tough life is in the ACC; they lost at Georgia Tech Thursday. At one point this season, I would have picked them to win this game. Not now.

Duke at Louisville: The Pitino Palace will be very loud; everyone watching will monitor Grayson Allen’s potential tripping of opponents. Duke, underachieving somewhat with all its talent, will leave with a victory.


Miami at Pitt: Both teams were recently beaten badly by Syracuse. Miami then lost a home game to Notre Dame. Can’t see the Hurricanes winning this one on the road.

Seton Hall at Providence: Another good chance for the Friars to pull off an upset.

Notre Dame at Virginia Tech: The Irish continue to fool me; they had a nice win at Miami Thursday night. This will be a bigger challenge as VaTech is 10-0 at home. Honestly, can’t remember the last time I’ve told you how much I love the game of ND’s Steve Vasturia. He’s a true All-Sully; a player who makes everyone better when he’s on the court. He’ll have to have another big game.

Xavier at Butler: Both teams just got crushed; X at Villanova and Butler at Creighton. Someone has to bounce back and I think it’s X.

Northeastern at Towson: This is a dangerous road game; Huskies have to be their best.


BC at Syracuse: Can the Eagles do it again? Unfortunately, no.

Baylor at Kansas State: Baylor’s last game as the No. 1 team after getting steamrolled at West Virginia. Kansas State is a suprising 13-3 but just lost a tough, one-point game at Texas Tech. It will be good to be back home.

Wichita State at Illinois State: The Shockers will not go undefeated in the Valley because they’re going to lose on Doug Collins Court.

Saint Mary’s at Gonzaga: The Gaels will beat the Zags this season but not in Spokane.

Joe Sullivan can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @GlobeSullivan