TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- It's not that Pittsburgh didn't deserve to win, or didn't outplay Florida State, or didn't outcoach them Saturday in the Panthers' upset win against the No. 17 Seminoles.
Because the Panthers did all three.
It's how the Seminoles' latest road loss went down that still has Florida State scratching its heads heading into Monday's game on short rest against Boston College.
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"It's not that I don't like the quick turnaround," freshman forward Jonathan Isaac told Seminoles.com after Florida State's 80-66 upset loss Saturday, dropping them to 2-6 in ACC road games this season. "It's that I don't want to just walk away from this loss. This is one that I want to rewatch before I move on."
Isaac should invite Dwayne Bacon to that film room session while he's at it.
Bacon, the Seminoles' star guard and ACC Player of the Year candidate, is coming the worst performance of his career at Florida State (21-6 overall, 9-5 in the ACC) after being held scoreless against Pitt. It was the first time Bacon was held to zero points, and the unusually bad outing also snapped a streak of 35 straight double-figure scoring games for the sophomore who came in averaging 17 points a game.
In addition to Bacon only attempting four shots in the loss -- finishing 0 for 4 -- his defense was listless and he spent long stretches on the bench, despite Florida State being within striking distance of Pitt several times in the first and second halves.
Florida State head coach Leonard Hamilton downplayed the poor game by his team's leading scorer, chocking it up to nothing more than an off night.
"I just think that every one of our guys will have one of those nights where they don't play particularly well," said Hamilton, whose team dropped from second in the ACC standings to fifth after the loss. "It just happened to be his night. I don't think it was anything different that (Pitt) did to him (on defense)."
There is some good news for Florida State, however, after its second straight loss: Monday's game against Boston College is at the Donald L. Tucker Center, where Florida State is 16-0 this year -- the best home record in the ACC.
The Seminoles, who have beaten Boston College (9-18, 2-12) five times in a row coming into Monday, hope to also take advantage of the fact the Eagles come in having lost 10 games in a row, 12 of their last 13 and sit dead last in the ACC. The Seminoles won both meetings last year, including a victory in the first round of the ACC Tournament.
The Eagles are 1-5 all-time in Tallahassee with the lone win coming in 2007, a 68-67 victory. But just like Pitt's offense gave Florida State problems on Saturday, Boston College also has a player who could give the Seminoles fits Monday: Guard Jerome Robinson, who ranks third in the ACC in scoring at 19.1 points a game. Robinson's 15 games of 20 or more points are the second-most among the Power 5 and Big East conferences.
But Robinson wasn't enough to keep the Eagles from falling in their last game 84-76 to Notre Dame, leaving head coach Jim Christian fired up.
"Make plays," Christian said when asked what this team needs to do more of to be successful. "I hate to say it, but it comes down to making plays. We had opportunities to make plays, we gotta make them. We gotta get big stops, we gotta make plays, and we get opportunities to win the game, in the ACC, you've gotta make that play. We hesitate at that time, or (lack confidence) at that time, because we haven't made them. If we can make plays, if those situations come up, we make them. That's what they do. It's a short answer to a complicated answer, but it's the truth."
Boston College has three games left after its meeting with Florida State -- its next one at home against Virginia Tech on Saturday, followed by its final two regular-season contests on the road at No. 25 Notre Dame and then at Clemson.
Similarly, Florida State also two road games and one home game left in its regular season after Monday, including a trip to Clemson next and then No. 12 Duke, followed by the regular-season finale at home March 4 against Miami. The Seminoles have already beaten each of those three teams this year.