The Seminoles opened as 13-point favorites as they host the Fighting Irish in their first of three consecutive home games on Monday evening back in Tallahassee. The game will be broadcasted on ESPN at 7:00 p.m. Florida State (21-6, 9-5) has won .935 percent of their games (43-3) and .885 percent of their ACC games (23-3) at home since the end of the 2015-16 season.
After losing to the Tar Heels on Saturday putting their 8-game winning streak to an end, the Seminoles find themselves in a tie for fifth place in the ACC standings and still in the hunt for the coveted double-bye in the ACC Tournament. The Fighting Irish aren’t exactly in the same boat and enter tonight’s contest with a 13-14 overall record and a 3-11 ACC record hoping to snap their 3-game losing streak with a win over a ranked team for the first time this year.
The Fighting Irish are having a tough year riddled with injuries. They lost arguably their best player Rex Pfluegger in the beginning of the season when he tore his ACL along with freshman guard Robby Carmody to a torn labrum. Across the board, they have struggled to stay healthy as a team and Juwan Durham, Nikola Djogo and Temple Gibbs have all missed portions of the season due to injury as well. On the bright side, Notre Dame is led by junior forward John Mooney who is averaging 14.0 points per game and leads the ACC with 10.9 rebounds per game. Mooney also leads the ACC (no other player has more than 11) and is tied for eighth in the country with 17 double-doubles. Mooney is a very versatile player capable of attacking from both the inside and the outside and will be a fun matchup to watch up against the Seminoles’ 6th man Mfiondu Kabengele. Following Mooney, fellow junior guard T.J. Gibbs leads the team with 14.1 points per game.
While the Fighting Irish struggle to make shots from beyond the arc and defend the three, Notre Dame does do a few things well. The Irish are fifth in the country in turnovers committed per game with a 9.7 average. Florida State on the other hand is ranked 246 and averaging 13.9 turnovers per game. The Irish also commit very few fouls per game. Notre Dame is committing just 14.0 personal fouls per game - the second-lowest average in the country compared to the No. 279 ranked ‘Noles averaging 20 personal fouls per game.
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