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No. 13 FSU basketball vs. No. 1 Duke: How to watch, preview, game thread

It’s another top-15 Saturday showdown featuring Florida State.

NCAA Basketball: Miami-Florida at Florida State Melina Myers-USA TODAY Sports

Don’t you just love ACC basketball? For the second time in a week, Florida State will take the hardwood against a top-5 team. Today, the opponent is a familiar, blue-blooded foe: the No. 1 Duke Blue Devils (13-1). The game will be shown nationally on ESPN, at 2 pm.

Of course, these games wouldn’t be nearly as much fun if the No. 13 Seminoles (13-2) hadn’t also established themselves as a team of note. FSU is solid across the board, with the nation’s No. 17 defense and No. 41 offense, per KenPom. But Duke is beyond solid, because, well, it’s Duke. The Blue Devils come into this Tallahassee matinee with the country’s No. 2 defense and the land’s No. 3 offense. Duke is led by the freakish Zion Williamson, the latest Vegas favorite to win National Player of the Year, at 2/3 odds.

Williamson (6’7, 285) is a surefire one-and-done freshman forward who averages 20.9 PPG and 9.5 RPG. And get this: he’s not even the Blue Devils’ leading scorer. That honor would go to R.J. Barrett (6’7, 202), a guard averaging 22.8 PPG— and yes, another true freshman. Oh, and those Player of the Year odds? Barrett is presently getting the fifth best odds, at 12/1. In musical terms, this isn’t so much Mick and Keith as it is John and Paul.

How does Duke have a pair of guys averaging over 20 points per contest? They play fast. Really fast. As in, faster than any team the Seminoles have played this year. The Blue Devils’ adjusted tempo is 9th in the country, out of 353 D-1 teams. FSU, which loves an up-tempo game, is 83rd.

As you might expect, Duke doesn’t have a lot of weak spots, but it’s definitely not great from the line, converting at just a 67.6% clip. For Florida State to take advantage of that, though, the Seminoles will have to take advantage from the stripe themselves, which has been an issue of late.

The last time FSU played the Blue Devils in Tallahassee was in 2017; the ’Noles won handily, 88-72. Be sure to follow along here and comment in the thread below during the game.