The No. 14 Florida State hoops squad will take on the Villanova Wildcats this afternoon to decide the championship of the 2018 AdvoCare Invitational, which is being contested in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. The game will tip off at 1 pm and can be viewed on ESPN.
The Seminoles enter the game 5-0 and off a hard-fought win over No. 19 LSU on Friday. The defending national champion Wildcats, of course, are no strangers to title play, having also won the NCAA Tournament in 2016.
But Villanova’s attempt at a repeat and three of the last four national championships has gotten off to a rocky start. ’Nova was blown out at home by Michigan, 73-46, and followed that embarrassment up by losing a home overtime contest to Furman, 76-68. The Wildcats advanced to the title game of this tourney by beating Canisius (83-56) and Oklahoma State (77-58). Of course, FSU has also defeated Canisius, by a score of 93-61.
Per Kenpom.com, these are a couple of top-12 offensive teams, and neither are poor on D, with the Seminoles ranked 14th and Villanova 33rd. The advanced metric that jumps out the most to me is that of adjusted tempo, where the ’Noles rank 88th and the Wildcats are 297th. The tempo of this game will certainly have something to do with which team has the freshest legs, as both will be playing their third game in four days. So expect depth to weigh heavily on the result.
We’ll discuss the game in the comments section below— feel free to join the conversation.