Feb. 6, 2013
There are 12 teams in the Atlantic Coast Conference and Florida State's Michael Snaer has now hit game-winning shots against five of them.
Like a patented Snaer buzzer-beater, let that sink in for a moment.
Five teams, five shots and five moments that will forever live in FSU basketball lore. Some players are lucky to have one in their four-year career. If he keeps this up -- and let's be honest, it's going to happen again because there is no logic here -- Snaer is going to need a second hand to count the number of times he has broken the heart of a conference foe.
Nearly half of the league's teams have fallen victim to what has somehow become a common occurrence for the cold-as-ice senior guard. Georgia Tech is the latest team to join the anti-Michael Snaer Fan Club thanks to his running, underhanded scoop off the backboard as the McCamish Pavilion's final horn sounded late Tuesday night gave the Seminoles a much-needed 56-54 victory.
Duke, Virginia Tech, Clemson and Maryland feel your pain, Yellow Jackets. They know what it's like to see the ball leave Snaer's finger tips, fly towards the rim on a seemingly unstoppable mission and eventually find the twine in game-winning fashion.
And here's the thing, he doesn't care how it happens or why it happens. He's cold blooded that way.
He doesn't care if he has to cap off a well-run play by burying the Blue Devils with a wide-open triple off a Luke Loucks pass or if the toss is from Jeff Peterson and he has to hit the 3-pointer with a hand or two in his face to hand the Hokies a loss. Heck, it doesn't matter if he has to do it himself by dribbling to his right before rising and firing over two defenders to tame the Tigers or if he switches it up and connects on a long-distance jumper from the left wing to topple the Terrapins.
Hitting one off the glass against Georgia Tech was nothing new to the California native. The only thing that was unfamiliar was that it was only a two-pointer.
If anything, maybe he got tired of drilling 3-pointers with an overhand motion in these all-too-common late-game situations. Time to switch it up. Time to not only drive to the basket but to underhand it and kiss it off the backboard.
Next he'll be launching "granny shots" for the victory. Or maybe he's going to mimick Michael Jordan and Larry Bird in those old McDonald's commercials where he's bouncing the ball off random objects in arenas before hitting nothing but net.
Just as long as it goes in and FSU gets the win.
"You can't say this very often," FSU coach Leonard Hamilton said after Snaer's latest clutch shot, "but it was really just like we drew it up."
Hamilton can say that not only because he trusts Snaer to connect but because the Seminoles, as a team, are an unselfish basketball squad. Snaer gets so much of the well-deserved credit for his handful of game-winning buckets but the other four players on the court had to contribute as well.
Loucks, Peterson and Miller were each credited with game-winning assists in the past 13 months to set him up. In the Clemson game, they had to clear out of the way and let their icewater-veined teammate make a play.
Against the Yellow Jackets they had to spread out to create the opportunity for an open running lane.
"My teammates did a great job of spacing the floor," Snaer told the TV camera immediately afterwards, "and they trusted I would make a good play and I did."
Yeah, you did, Michael. Once again, you did and the league is on notice. And who knows which ACC squad you'll do it to next. Too bad Pittsburgh and Syracuse don't officially join the ACC until next year after Snaer's eligibility has expired or they would be on the Snaer-ed Watch List.
Lucky them. And as long as Snaer suits up in the garnet and gold, lucky 'Noles.