Right in front of Doak Campbell Stadium on the large, sprawling campus of Florida State University in Tallahassee stands a large, imposing statue of Chief Osceola sitting atop his ever-present horse named Renegade.
Looking ready for battle, Renegade is reared up on his hind legs as Osceola looks down menacingly from his perch aboard his trusted mount.
At the bottom of the large statue reads a simple phrase: UNCONQUERED.
Last night, just a few blocks away from the statue at The Doak, the Florida State Seminoles took their game indoors as they hosted your Miami Hurricanes at the Tucker Center. And, a few of us lucky Canespacers were on hand for the rivalry game between the cross-State ACC foes as they battled on the hardwood instead of the gridiron.
This time the Hurricanes, who trailed early but then led for most of the game, struggled against a pesky Seminole team that hung around long enough to make the end of the game a little more interesting than Coach Larranaga and the nervous 'Canes fans in the stands would have liked.
But in the end Miami beat FSU for the second time this season by a score of 74-68. In their last meeting earlier this season, the Hurricanes had easily beaten the Seminoles in Coral Gables at the BankUnited Center by a fashionable 24 points, 71-47.
However, last night in the State capitol it was a much different game that required some late game heroics from UM's Shane Larkin to seal the deal.
Larkin scored 13 of his 22 points in the final 7 1-2 minutes to help third-ranked Miami hold off Florida State for its 12th straight victory. Reggie Johnson added 15 points for the Hurricanes (20-3, 11-0 ACC), which became the first team to start the league season 11-0 in a dozen years.
Durand Scott had 13 points and Julian Gamble 10 for the Hurricanes, who will try to keep their ACC slate perfect Sunday when they visit Clemson. A 3-point play by Scott gave Miami a 51-39 lead with 13:05 left, but Florida State countered with a 12-0 run keyed by a pair of Terry Whisnant 3's to tie the score on Okaro White's basket.
The Seminoles never got the lead in the second half, but a few missed free throws by Miami in the waning minutes helped FSU keep the game too close for comfort as the final seconds wound down.
Still the Hurricanes beat the Seminoles by six points in front of a boisterous but far from sold-out home crowd and that was good enough on a night when Miami did not have their best effort.
Just to be sure Miami got the "W" we even went as far as enlisting at least one Florida Gator as an honorary 'Cane fan for the night to ensure the victory over the Seminoles. Sometimes U have do whatever it takes.
On a cool, damp night in Tallahassee, we came, we saw and we conquered. Then we knocked the big indian off his mount and made off with his prized horse and a few of his sqwas while we were at it.
So much for "Unconquered".