If Virginia is going to win their first ever NCAA title, this might be the team to do it. They're deep and talented with eight consensus 4* recruits on the roster. Four of five starters are upperclassmen. And they're on pace for a No. 1 seed in the dance.
The problem is that Justin Anderson - one third of their 3-headed offensive attack - is out for the regular season after having hand surgery.
The Hoos are 3-0 in his absence, and have held all three opponents well below a point per possession. Offensively, though, they've struggled.
Virginia's offense had been humming all season, with just one blip against Rutgers who was the only opponent to hold the Cavaliers below a point per possession. But in the game where Anderson was hurt, and the two that followed, they went through three consecutive games below that mark. Malcolm Brogdon (13.8 per game) and Anthony Gill (11.2) need another scorer to step up.
Their defense is elite - the 2nd best in the nation - but they'll need Justin Anderson back and in rhythm. Luckily, for FSU, Anderson is out, which offers a sliver of hope.
If Virginia plays their A game, then FSU doesn't stand a chance. The two lowest scoring outputs of the season for any major conference teams both came against Virginia. Georgia Tech scored just 0.54 per possession, and Rutgers was even worse at 0.49.
But if Florida State can continue their hot shooting from the arc (48% in the past four games) then there's hope. Virginia's only real weakness on defense is that they don't force many turnovers. Take care of the ball. Knock down some shots. And see what happens.
The game tips at 6:30 and will be broadcast on ESPNU. The Hoos are 15.5 point favorites.