The Miami Hurricanes (12-1, 1-0) have looked this year like men amongst boys - which, of course, they are. Literally.
Their leading scorer - Shelden McClellan - is 23-years-old. Point guard Angel Rodriguez is also 23. They're both transfers, as is 22-year-old Kamari Murphy. Sixth man Ivan Cruz Uceda will almost be 25 when the NBA Draft takes place.
So it should be no surprise that they came out of the gate in mid-season form.
It will be interesting to see if they can maintain that form throughout the year as younger, less experienced teams, go through what is likely a steeper learning curve. Last year the Canes were 14-5 (4-2) with road wins at Florida and Duke before going 6-6 down the stretch on their way to the NIT.
But regardless of how the Canes end up, they're currently playing as good as just about any team in the country.
And the Noles (10-4, 0-2) are still finding themselves.
That's not an encouraging combination.
Aside from a 2-game blip after Thanksgiving where Miami lost at home to Northeastern and needed OT to scrape by a bad Nebraska team, the Canes have beaten every opponent by double-digits. This includes neutral site games with Utah and Butler, and home wins over Florida and Syracuse.
Offensively, Miami does a lot of things well. They're 46th in 3-pt%, 13th in 2-pt%, 23rd at getting to the line, and 7th in FT%. This adds up to an offense ranked 15th nationally, and Syracuse is the only team to hold them below a point per possession.
FSU certainly won't do that, so the Noles will need to score a lot of points. Unfortunately, Miami's defense is ranked 20th nationally. They're the best defensive rebounding team in the ACC, and their interior defense is stout (45th in defensive 2-pt%).
This is probably one of those games where FSU needs to win the 3-pt lottery to have a chance. To do so, the Noles will have to speed up a team that likes to play slowly, and get hot in transition. It will also help if high-volume but low efficiency shooters like Angel Rodriguez (32% career 3-pt shooter) settle for 3s rather than trying to get to the rim. Other than Rodriguez, Miami is one of the best 3-pt shooting teams in the conference, and - frankly - FSU needs them to have a bad shooting game.
The game tips Saturday at 5 PM and will be broadcast on ESPN2. The Noles are 11.5 point underdogs, which along with the games at Louisville and at Duke will be the biggest line of the year. This would be an absolute steal if FSU could pull off the upset.