Finally, It's Tournament Time for the Seminoles

By the time the Noles take the floor tonight in the ACC Tournament every team will have played, and three teams will have played twice. The long wait has been filled with rumors about Chris Singleton’s status for the game. Several ESPN guys have used their Twitter accounts to say that an unnamed source expects him to play, but since he’s yet to go through contact or full speed drills I question their information. Regardless, 3rd seed Florida State will take on 6th seed Virginia Tech following the Hokies’ dismantling of Georgia Tech in the opening round.

In last night’s game Virginia Tech jumped to a double digit lead less than five minutes into the game and never looked back. Despite Georgia Tech’s failure to ever make a sustained run, Hokies head coach Seth Greenberg stuck with his starters until the end, as all five played at least 32 minutes with Malcolm Delaney (39) and Jeff Allen (36) leading the way. Obviously VT’s roster is extremely thin, but even scholarship players such as Tyrone Garland only played 4 minutes. It’s clear Greenberg is going to ride his starters as far as they’ll take him, and not worry about fatigue. I wouldn’t expect a problem with a small guy like Malcolm Delaney, but asking 6’8 kids to expend full effort over several consecutive days is a risky strategy when you’re playing them high minutes. Luckily for Greenberg his starters are all very good, with Malcolm Delaney, Terrell Bell, Erick Green and Manny Atkins all being high level offensive players. The 5th player, Jeff Allen, is somewhat inefficient from the floor, but makes up for it by being an elite rebounder.

 

The Hokies protect themselves from foul trouble by sticking in a 2-3 zone. The zone caused tremendous problems in January when these two teams met, as FSU simply tried to shoot over the top of it, taking 24 3’s (39% of their shots). Since then several teams have played zone against FSU and we’ve gradually gotten better at attacking the gaps and getting the ball inside. The Seminoles also turned the ball over 19 times in the first matchup. Considering that game was on the heels of the Auburn debacle, that was probably the low point of the season.

 

The Noles are currently projected as a 9 seed by a consensus of bracketologists. In order to get ahead of the 8/9 game we’d likely need two wins in this tournament. FSU last played in the ACC Final in 2009, and have never won the conference.

Virginia Tech is a 1.5 point favorite in Vegas, and Pomeroy has VT -1. The game tips at 930 on ESPN2.

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