They say that absence makes the heart grow fonder. If that is the case then the Seminoles and the Hurricanes probably don't like each other very much. FSU and UM will face each other tomorrow for the third time this season and the second time in less than a week. Florida State (23-6, 13-3 ACC) beat Miami (23-7, 10-6 ACC) in both previous meetings. On January 24 FSU beat Miami in Coral Gables 69-58 and last Sunday FSU beat Miami 70-67 in Tallahassee.
UM secured a spot in the quarterfinals by easily handling Pitt 77-55 today in the second round of the tournament. The Canes used a dominant second quarter outscoring the Panthers 20-9 to earn a 17 point halftime lead and then cruised from there to the final score. UM was lead by Adrienne Motley (19pts) and Keyona Hayes (18pts) in this one.
The game tomorrow will be critical to FSU's NCAA Tournament positioning. The Noles are a four seed in most mock brackets but probably need to win tomorrow to stay in the top four and enjoy the home games that come with the lofty seeding. With a loss FSU will probably drop to a five seed and have to start the Tournament on the road. With a win they likely will keep the fourth seed and will have a chance to move up by moving further in the Tournament. Notre Dame would likely be the semi-final opponent for FSU.
As the previous results show, FSU has had UM's number of late but FSU can't afford to get complacent. Motley and Hayes have been trouble in the past and Miami is good enough to beat anyone if they can get hot from deep. Rebounding will be key. FSU found a way to win last week while getting outrebounded. They don't want to try that again.
The game will tip at 11am from Greensboro Coliseum (FSN/ESPN 3). Sagarin has FSU as eight point favorites.