Florida State's goals for the out-of-conference season should be to a) avoid any bad losses, and b) get a signature win for Selection Sunday. Through six games FSU (5-1) has avoided any losses which will come back to haunt them in March, and today is the first of three opportunities to get the signature win. The defending National Champions are loaded - they have a likely All-American in Jeremy Lamb, have one of the top three freshmen in the nation (Andre Drummond), and have several role players who could be stars at many Division I schools. UConn is a popular pick - along with North Carolina and Kentucky - to win this year's National Title.
This matchup was the one the tournament directors of the Battle 4 Atlantis wanted, only they didn't think it would come in the 3rd place game. UConn blew a 17 point lead to a dangerous UCF team, and FSU was outlasted by Harvard.
FSU enters the game with its offense in disarray. In two games this tournament they've only managed 0.80 points per possession, primarily due to turning the ball over on 39 of their 143 possessions (27.3%). The good news is that Calhoun's teams never turn teams over and are currently 321st in the nation. This doesn't mean they aren't a great defensive club - they are - but they do it by contesting every shot while rarely committing fouls. Their opponents have combined for a 43.6 eFG%, and only 4 of 344 Division I teams have sent fewer people to the line.
Defensively, FSU has dominated. Even with a lackadaisical effort against Stetson, this club is on pace to overtake the 2009-10 Seminoles as the best defense in the Leonard Hamilton era. After some early season rotation issues FSU has sorted things out and are once again holding teams to under 40% on 2s. They're also limiting teams to 19.2% on 3s, and blocking one in five shot attempts.
This should be a low scoring affair, as UConn will limit the number of possessions. A point per trip should be FSU's goal, while keeping UConn to 0.95 or lower (no team has held them below 1.03).
The game tips at 2pm on Versus. Vegas and Ken Pomeroy both have FSU -1.