The Seminoles have been making small but steady advances in the past few weeks, but in order to survive until Saturday the Noles likely need their best effort of the season.
FSU has won four of the last five, with the one loss being a convincing one at the hands of a rebuilt 4-guard Carolina team. In that game UNC made 60% of their 3s, and FSU was never in it in the 2nd half.
The good news for FSU is that they match up fairly well with the Tar Heels. The bad news is that the Tar Heels are extremely talented, and aside from their season ending game vs Duke they've been rolling.
PJ Hairston has been one problem for FSU this season. In the two previous games he's made 8-15 3s (53%). Against the rest of the world he's made 36%. He loves to take deep threes, and FSU needs to find him in transition and hope he doesn't get hot. The same can be said for 6-7 Reggie Bullock who has made 46% of his attempts vs FSU.
For FSU the big question marks are Ian Miller and Terrance Shannon. How much will they be able to give the Noles in back to back games? Miller played 13 minutes and Shannon played 19. Shannon, in particular, provided a huge lift for FSU. He started the 2nd half and did a great job limiting Devin Booker. Shannon had 3 offensive rebounds (his teammates combined for two, and there were 3 team rebounds) and he put up 12 tough points, helping FSU dig out of a 34-24 hole vs a very good defensive team. A similar effort tonight would be a huge boost for a team lacking interior firepower.
Montay Brandon played at least 20 minutes for the 3rd straight game, and will likely see significant time again tonight due to his size. Even with a four guard lineup, UNC is still a big team.
The winner of this game advances to play the winner of Duke v Maryland. The game will tip around 9:30 EST and be broadcast on ESPN2. The Heels are an 8-point favorite in Vegas, and Pomeroy has them -9.
The rest of the schedule is as follows:
Boston College vs Miami, NOON
NC State vs Virginia, 2:30
Maryland vs Duke: 7:00