Sports Beat: Florida State wins national title, ACC’s first since 2000

#1 Florida State defeated #2 Auburn 34-31 in the BCS National Championship Game Monday night, returning the ACC to the national-title picture for the first time since FSU defeated then-Big East member Virginia Tech for the 2000 championship.

football600Auburn (12-2) led 21-3 at the half, but FSU (14-0) rallied all the way back to lead 27-24 on a 100-yard kickoff return by Levonte Winfield with 4:31 to go. The Tigers responded with 1:19 to go on a 37-yard touchdown run by Tre Mason that put Auburn up 31-27.

Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston got the ball back at the Seminole 20. After hitting Rashad Greene for eight yards on first down, Winston connected with a wide-open Greene in the right flat for a 49-yard gainer that gave Florida State a first down at the Auburn 23 with 56 seconds left.

A pass-interference penalty on a third-down pass into the end zone gave the ‘Noles a first down at the 2. Winston hit Kelvin Benjamin on a slant for the touchdown with 16 seconds left to seal the deal.

The win for Florida State broke the SEC’s eight-year national-championship streak.

The championship is the first for FSU under fourth-year coach Jimbo Fisher, who is 46-10 after replacing the legendary bobby bowden at the helm in Tallahassee.

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Team of Destiny: Inside UVA Basketball's improbable run

Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, by Jerry Ratcliffe and Chris Graham, is available for $25.

The book, with additional reporting by Zach Pereles, Scott Ratcliffe and Scott German, will take you from the aftermath of the stunning first-round loss to UMBC in 2018, and how coach Tony Bennett and his team used that loss as the source of strength, through to the ACC regular-season championship, the run to the Final Four, and the thrilling overtime win over Texas Tech to win the 2019 national title, the first in school history.

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