When the Puerto Rico Tipoff brass setup the brackets they could easily visualize a Florida State vs Northeastern matchup on Sunday. But certainly not in the winner's bracket. The two teams upset the tourney favorites, with Northeastern upsetting Georgetown, and FSU rolling VCU. Now the two meet in the consolation game.
FSU players approached this like a business trip. They were here to show the nation that pundits were - once again - taking FSU too lightly. In that case, they succeeded. The Noles got an all-important out of conference resume win for March, and then almost pulled off another against Michigan. Now, to keep the gains they've earned, FSU will have to beat a Northeastern team that somehow took down the Hoyas.
Like Michigan, the Huskies will try and force FSU into a half court game. FSU found transition buckets tough to come by against Michigan, and then when they did get them they blew three golden opportunities in crunch time. On one, Montay Brandon caught the ball on the wing and travelled, and then in two others Brandon and Okaro White each had one-on-one finishes and tried to get cute instead of powering to the rim and (most likely) getting to the free throw line.
Those will be good lessons for ACC play, but right now FSU doesn't need lessons. They need a win.
Northeastern beat Georgetown by playing a solid zone, and forcing the Hoyas to take bad shots. Down 14 in the second half, their zone stymied the Hoyas and let the Huskies climb back into the game. NU also grabbed 39% of their own misses, making a living on 2nd chance opportunities. They did all of this without arguably their most talented player in 6-8 junior Quincy Ford. Ford (back injury) is listed as doubtful for today's game.
FSU will look to run whenever possible, and in half court sets will need to show solid ball movement on reversals to create gaps in which to attack.
The game tips at 4:30 and will be broadcast on ESPN2. The Noles are a 12-point favorite in Vegas, while Pomeroy has FSU -9.
BONUS KNOWLEDGE: Northeastern is located in Boston, just across the Fens from Fenway Park. They've had one NBA draft pick in their history (Reggie Lewis) and last appeared in the NCAA tourney in 1991.