Don’t feel picked on or singled out if you’re a Maryland fan. He’s an equal opportunity slayer in crunch time.
Michael Snaer takes no prisoners. The man with the unlimited supply of daggers used one on the Terrapins Wednesday night, popping a corner trey with one second left to deal Maryland its fifth loss in seven games and second loss at the hands of Florida State in three weeks.
Just an ordinary day on the prowl for America’s deadliest assassin.
A quasi adrenaline junkie battling hero syndrome with each passing game on the court, Snaer is living his Seminoles career on the edge. Wednesday’s thrilling moment was the fourth time in the past two seasons Snaer has canned a game-winning triple in the game’s final moments. His uncontested clincher against the Terps was an almost anticlimactic tribute to the career he’s had.
Six days ago Snaer bailed out Florida State from a résumé-tarnishing loss at Clemson with this coup:
This momentous shot last January spawned his legend:
Then this one four weeks later helped enhance it:
Despite a supporting cast that has given off NIT vibes since the season opener, the Seminoles — clinging to the cape of Mr. Big Shot — remain just one game out of second place in a diluted ACC and have a realistic shot at making the NCAA tournament. Snaer’s two game-winners in the last week alone cover the difference between a resilient 12-8 squad competing for the ACC crown and a forgettable .500 team hoping to salvage a winning season.
Come Selection Sunday, they could mean even more.
If the sheer outcomes of the two games decided by Snaer are keeping Florida State’s résumé on the table, the aesthetic value of his heroics should push FSU’s paperwork into a separate file. Don’t, for one moment, think the Selection Committee lives in a vacuum, sifting through blind résumés and parsing bubble teams strictly according to objective measures. The eye test still comes into play. So, too, will the indelible images of Snaer’s big buckets.
Perception matters. Whereas a non-descript 12-8 team is probably on tournament life support at this time, a 12-8 group embellished by the cachet of Michael Snaer is in much better shape. Florida State’s flair for the dramatic unmistakably aids its postseason cause. The committee digs cardiac teams that provide great theater.
The NCAA tournament is about creating memories — among other aims — and no team has carved out more in the last week than the men from Tallahassee, led by college basketball’s clutchest player.