After a double-digit loss to the Wake Forest Demon Deacons earlier this week, Florida State Seminoles basketball (5-12, 3-3 ACC) will look to get back on track today vs. the No. 12 Virginia Cavaliers (12-5, 4-2 ACC).
FSU, hoping to get a bit of a spark with the debut of Baba Miller, sputtered on the road vs. the Demon Deacons in a game that was likely lost by decisions made in the first half of play.
When the horn sounded on the first half, Florida State found themselves trailing 44-35. The Seminoles scored 17 points in the first 5:20 of the game and then only 18 points in the final 14:40 of the stanza. After making their first two 3-balls, FSU proceeded to miss their next 8 and finished the half shooting just 20% from deep while turning it over 19.4% of their possessions. Caleb Mills, one of FSU’s most dynamic scorers, only played 4 minutes before stepping into two-foul jail.
Virginia, meanwhile, has steadied out as a top-15 team once more after climbing as high as No. 2. Since facing off against Florida State earlier this season, Virginia has gone 5-3, most recently outlasting an Armando Bacot-less North Carolina on Tuesday.
From our SB Nation sister site, Streaking the Lawn:
It wasn’t a stellar performance for 40 minutes against North Carolina, but against a Tar Heels squad missing Armando Bacot after he twisted his ankle two minutes into the game, the Virginia Cavaliers did enough to defend home court in a comeback victory.
After trailing for most of the first half, a 20-6 run in the middle of the second gave the ‘Hoos a lead that they wouldn’t relinquish as strong defensive play down the stretch and a big Isaac McKneely triple helped withstand a late burst of shotmaking by North Carolina.
Virginia put together a woeful run of offense thanks to some cold shooting and poor turnovers and allowed backup center Jalen Washington — who had 13 total points entering tonight — to roast them on the interior. North Carolina went on a 21-5 run over the following nine minutes and change, putting to bed any hopes of this game being an easy victory for the Cavaliers. The ‘Hoos put together another nice turnaround after the break — they’re 5-2 in games they trail at halftime — but that still doesn’t fully excuse their woeful performance against a Bacot-less UNC squad.
Florida State used a late rally to make things close against the Cavaliers the last time these two faced off, where the Seminoles managed to get within three points within seven seconds left in the game (which ended up being a 62-57 UVA win.)
FSU has won four of the last six games against the Cavaliers and is undefeated in ACC play at home so far this season.
Other notes, via FSU Sports Info:
IT’S BEEN A MOMENTOUS WEEK FOR THE SEMINOLES
As the Seminoles return to The Tuck for Saturday’s game against Virginia, it’s been a wonderful seven days for the Florida State Men’s Basketball Team. Head Coach Leonard Hamilton, the winningest coach in Florida State history, won his 600th career game, while at the same time winning his 400th career game as the Seminoles’ head coach on January 7 when he guided his team to a 75-64 win over Georgia Tech. On Wednesday night at Wake Forest, junior Caleb Mills scored 19 points and surpassed the 1,000 career point mark for his career. Mills enters Saturday’s game against Virginia with 1,003 career points during his career at both the University of Houston and Florida State. Also in the Seminoles’ game at Wake Forest, sophomore Matthew Cleveland totaled 19 points and 12 rebounds to earn his sixth consecutive double double. He has earned double doubles against Notre Dame on December 21, Duke on December 31, Georgia Tech on January 7 and Wake Forest on January 11 and is the first player in school history with double doubles in four consecutive ACC games.
CLEVELAND PLAYING FOR HIS SEVENTH CONSECUTIVE DOUBLE AGAINST VIRGINIA
Sophomore Matthew Cleveland enters Saturday’s game against Virginia having earned six consecutive double doubles in points and rebounds. He’s the first Seminole since Greg Grady during the 1974-75 season to earn six consecutive double doubles. As he begins play against the Cavaliers, Cleveland is looking to become the first Seminole since Reggie Royals during the 1971-72 season against Jacksonville, Florida Southern, Pan American, Houston, South Alabama, Tulane and Georgia Tech (January 26 through February 19, 1972) to earn seven consecutive double doubles.
FLORIDA STATE’S RECENT ACC SUCCESS AT THE TUCKER CENTER
Florida State is 52-6 in ACC play at the Donald L. Tucker Center in the last seven seasons. The Seminoles’ winning percentage of nearly 90 percent in conference play since the start of the 2016-17 season has made the Tucker Center one of the toughest places to play for ACC opponents. Florida State has lost only two ACC home games (73-69 to Louisville on January 10, 2018, and 80-78 to Duke on January 12, 2019) from the start of the 2016-17 ACC schedule through the Seminoles’ victory over Georgia Tech on January 7, 2023. To extrapolate Florida State’s winning ways even further, the Seminoles won their final two ACC home games of the 2015-16 season against Notre Dame (77-56 on February 27, 2016) and Syracuse (78-73 on March 5, 2016) to raise their recent conference record at home to 54-6 for a winning percentage to .900.
According to DraftKings, the Seminoles are a 9.5-point underdog to the Cavaliers, with the over/under set at 130.5 points.
Florida State vs. Virginia how to watch, TV info
Saturday, January 14