Maybe Florida State only bothered to bring its JV team on the trip. Maybe a bunch of NBA ringers donned Auburn jerseys for the night.
Whatever the explanation, the Seminoles' astonishing 65-60 upset loss to the Tigers on Monday night has to be one of the most head-scratching results of the college hoops season thus far.
Florida State entered the week a popular choice to finish second in the ACC behind top-ranked Duke, yet the Seminoles somehow lost to an Auburn team many consider the nation's worst BCS-conference basketball squad.
The Tigers have fallen at home to the likes of UNC Asheville, Samford, Jacksonville and Presbyterian, sending their RPI plummeting to 336th of 345 Division I teams according to CollegeRPI.com. Even in a win against a Georgia Southern team that has only beaten one Division I opponent last week, Auburn squandered a 27-point halftime lead and needed overtime to emerge victorious.
It took a perfect storm of unusually poor shooting from the Seminoles and unusually good shooting from the Tigers to make this upset happen.
Auburn shot 46.8 percent from the field and 42.1 percent from three-point range, hardly sizzling percentages yet well ahead of the team's typical abysmal shooting numbers. On the other hand, Florida State shot just 35 percent from the field, missed 21 of 26 three-point attempts and converted a paltry 13 of 26 free-throw attempts.
There's certainly still hope for Florida State to contend in the ACC this season, but the Seminoles have to find a way to generate some consistent offense around star Chris Singleton to complement their stingy defense.
If they're successful, a top-three finish in the beleaguered ACC still looks feasible. If they're unsuccessful, Duke's path to the ACC title and a potential undefeated season gets that much easier.