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FSU vs Louisiana Tech preview and game thread

The NIT isn't the NCAA Tournament, but at least they call the first round the first round. FSU is the 4-seed, and they host the 5-seed.

Streeter Lecka

For the 8th consecutive season - a program record - FSU is participating in a post-season tournament. It isn't the tournament that we wanted, but get over it. Suck it up and enjoy.

The opponent is Louisiana Tech who completely dominated the WAC for most of the season. From mid December through March 2nd they won 18 straight games. But then they struggled down the stretch, dropping two straight to end the regular season and then getting bumped in the first round of the conference tourney. So they're struggling, but don't read too much into it - the concept of momentum is vastly overrated.

Tech is coached by Michael White, who spanned multiple staffs at Ole Miss before taking over as the La Tech head coach. Now he is in his 2nd year establishing his up-tempo, pressing game with the Bulldogs.

The Bulldogs have 11 players who average 10 minutes a game. 6-3 sophomore Raheem Appleby is the only player to average double figures and he does it purely through volume. When he is on the floor he takes 35% of the shots, which is more than all but 10 players in Division I. Still, he's a talented player with a high major skillset. The reason he ended up in the WAC is because he weighed 139 pounds (seriously) when he arrived on campus. The rest of the team is undersized (272nd in effective height), but due to their style height isn't as important as with most teams.

The main issue for the Noles will be the press. If FSU handles the ball pressure they should be able to get good shots, and they'll advance. But they'll have to do it without Ian Miller, who underwent surgery on his long-injured foot. If they struggle vs the pressure, then Bulldogs could very well pull the upset. In fact, calling it an upset at all is a bit of a misnomer, as they are ranked about 30 spots higher than FSU by Ken Pomeroy.

The game tips at 7:15 and will be broadcast on ESPN3. The Noles are 3-point favorite in Vegas, while Pomeroy has FSU -1.