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FSU basketball looks for 3rd straight win over the Gators

NCAA Basketball: Nicholls State at Florida State Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports

FSU’s middleweight out-of-conference schedule provides one opportunity for a signature win, and this is it with the 21st ranked Gators in town. Win, and the Seminoles will be in great position to be nationally ranked heading into conference play. Lose, and the ‘Noles resume will come down almost entirely to the ACC.

The Gators (7-2) are loaded. They have multiple 5* upperclassmen, a number of other blue chip recruits, and a pair of highly sought after transfers. Their only losses are to top 10 teams, and they’ve played four teams tougher than any one of FSU’s nine previous opponents.

Their offense is solid, despite not being a good shooting team. They mitigate for that weakness by taking care of the ball, being an excellent offensive rebounding team, and by getting to the line.

The Gators downhill attack is led by 6-2 sophomore KeVaughn Allen, who slashes his way to 13.3 points a game. On the wing, 6-8 junior Devin Robinson is averaging 11.7 ppg. Canyon Barry (hey, it’s Rick’s kid!), comes off the bench to chip in 11.4 per game.

No opponent has held the Gators below a point per possession.

On the other end of the floor, the Gators have a top 10 defense (currently 9th nationally). Like Florida State, they aren’t a good defensive rebounding team, but they do everything else well.

In their two losses, their opponents (Duke and Gonzaga) combined to knock down 14-33 3s (42%).

Florida is one of the most experienced teams FSU will face. Six of the top seven in the rotation are juniors or seniors.

With their great out-of-conference schedule and an upcoming trip through a weak SEC conference, the Gators are pretty much locks for the tournament. This is the signature win that Florida State needs.

The game tips this afternoon at 4 PM from the Tuck, and will be broadcast on ESPNU.