It's mid-February and the Noles find themselves squarely on the NCAA tournament bubble. There are five more regular season games in which to impress the committee, and the easiest of those five comes tomorrow night.
Georgia Tech (13-12, 3-9) made it through out of conference play with a good win against VCU, two wins against the SEC, and just one bad loss.
Then conference play started and they've fallen apart. They did manage a home win against Virginia by hitting 53% of their 3s, but that was their only win against a team that has won more than three ACC games.
Considering that they have the same number of top 100 recruits that FSU has, they're situated in one of the South's best locations for basketball talent, and they just pumped $45 million into their arena, this program isn't exactly where fans think it should be.
Head coach Brian Gregory, formerly of Dayton, is now 22-60 against the ACC.
For FSU's tournament hopes, they need to make sure that Gregory leaves Tallahassee 22-61.
The Yellow Jackets are led by senior Marcus Georges-Hunt, a local product who was Gregory's first key commit. Georges-Hunt is a big, slashing guard, who reminds many of former Seminole Aaron Thomas. He averages 16.1 per game, draws a ton of fouls, and leads the team in minutes.
He's joined in the back court by senior Adam Smith, now at his 3rd college. Smith is a sharpshooter, knocking down 41% of his 3s, and averaging 13.9 per game.
Another transfer, senior Charles Mitchell, holds down the middle, averaging a double-double with 10.9 points and 10.7 rebounds.
Senior Nick Jacobs (hey, a transfer!) is another big body, and teams up with Mitchell by scoring 11.1 per game.
As a whole, this is easily the best Georgia Tech offense of Gregory's tenure, and is rated No. 72 nationally. They don't shoot particularly well, but they value the ball and they get a ton of second chances.
The problem with this team is that it features the 2nd worst defense (94th) in Gregory's five years. They don't force turnovers (338th nationally), and they're giving up 2s at nearly a 50% clip. They do rebound the ball pretty well.
For FSU to win, they'll need to value the ball, and they'll need to seize opportunities to run. GT doesn't force many turnovers, so the Noles don't want to gift them anything. And the Yellow Jackets also crash the boards hard, so if FSU can secure rebounds, there should be chances to get out and run.
The game tips at 9 PM on Wednesday, and will be broadcast on the ACC Network and ESPN3. FSU is favored by 7-points.