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No. 15 Florida State vs. Florida basketball mini-preview and game thread

The season tips off in Tally vs. the Gators.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-West Regional-Michigan vs Florida State Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

Somehow, college basketball begins (in a big way) tonight. Obviously, the headliners nationally are No. 10 Michigan State vs. No. 1 Kansas, and No. 3 Duke vs. No. 2 Kentucky in The Champions Classic from Indianapolis (on ESPN).

But it also sees No. 15 Florida State host Florida in a rare season-opener, and it’s one of the biggest games of the season for the Seminoles. It’s actually the earliest the rivals have met in 69 meetings.

Florida State is looking for its FIFTH straight win over the Gators. The last time the team from Gainesville won in Tallahassee was on December 5, 2012, a comfortable 72-47 outcome for the visitors.

It’s actually surprising Mike White’s Gators aren’t ranked, especially considering this:

The leading scorer MR referenced above is Phil Cofer, who suffered an unfortunate foot injury during pre-season practice and is expected to miss at least 6 weeks. Although Florida’s unranked in the polls, KenPom has them 20th.

FSU, of course, is coming off an impressive Elite Eight run. It’ll be interesting to see if the team’s able to pick up where they left off, especially considering the losses of Cofer, Ike Obiagu (transferred to Seton Hall), and CJ Walker (transferred to Ohio State). The ’Noles are trying to make the NCAA Tournament for the third straight season, something they haven’t accomplished since 2010-12.

If you missed TN’s mini-preview of the men’s hoops squad, make sure and check it out before tipoff.

The game is set to tip just after 9:00 pm on ESPN2 (following the conclusion of the Wofford vs. UNC game).

The ’Noles are currently favored by 4 points.

FSU’s starting 5:

PG: Trent Forrest

SG: PJ Savoy

SF: MJ Walker

PF: Terance Mann

C: Christ Koumadje

UF’s starting 5:

PG: Andrew Nembhard

SG: Jalen Hudson

SF: KeVaughn Allen

PF: Kevarrius Hayes

C: Keith Stone