King of the Upset

Leonard Hamilton has never won an NCAA title, nor has Florida State — but few teams will want to face his Seminoles in March.

On Tuesday, the Seminoles edged No. 6 Duke 79-78 in overtime, improving to 5-2 in-conference and grabbing second place in the ACC.

It’s Hamilton’s latest upset in a storied history as a scrappy underdog, and a reminder that his FSU squads are perennial contenders — if not conquerors.

  • The 73-year-old notched his 55th win over an AP Top 25 team while unranked, passing the legendary Bob Knight for most in the AP Poll Era.
  • It was FSU’s 13th consecutive OT win — the longest such streak in Division I history.
  • The Noles have made the Sweet 16 or better in their last three NCAA tournament appearances without winning the ACC. 
  • They won the ACC in 2020, but the tournament was canceled.

In his 20th season in Tallahassee, Hamilton is the 13th longest-tenured head coach in Division I. 

Florida State’s administration is clearly content with his eight NCAA tournament appearances and three Top 10 finishes in the AP Poll, giving him a five-year extension last March that pays $2.3 million annually plus bonuses. 

His Seminoles will likely be underdogs straight through to the Big Dance: They have the third-best odds (+650*) to win the ACC and the 27th-best (+7000*) to win the national championship.