The Florida State Seminoles basketball program is ahead two games in the loss column over the Virginia Cavaliers, Virginia Tech Hokies, and Louisville Cardinals. But they have more wins than Virginia Tech or Louisville. These odd schedules are going to determine the No. 1 seed in the ACC Tournament, and clearly the easiest path for Florida State is just to win out, or only drop one. Today’s a tough one—in Chapel Hill to face the North Carolina Tar Heels.
The Tar Heels had been playing better, winning six of eight since their loss in Tallahassee. Then they stupidly scheduled the Marquette Eagles (a tier 3 NET team) and lost, at home. A win would have added nothing to their resume. A loss puts them squarely on the NCAAT bubble. Their backs are against the wall.
UNC is a big team, as are their top 3 scorers. Armando Bacot (6-10, 240) draws the 4th most fouls in the ACC and the is 7th in ORB%. He averages 11.5 per game.
Senior Garrison Brooks (6-10, 240) isn’t having the huge season people expected of him, but is still averaging 10.7 ppg.
Freshman Day’Ron Sharpe (6-11, 265) has maybe been the most impressive. He’s the best rebounder in the ACC on both ends of the floor, and scores 10.3 per game.
In the back court Caleb Love (6-4, 195) averages an inefficient 10.0 per game. But more importantly, fellow freshman Kerwin Walton (6-5, 205) has emerged as a serious 3-point threat, making 45% of his attempts.
Their offense has been decidedly un-Carolina like, and is just 62nd nationally. They chuck shots and go get them. They’re the 2nd best offensive rebounding team in the nation, and outside of Walton, do almost all of their work on the interior.
Defensively they’re 24th (and 2nd in ACC play). They limit you to one shot and rarely put teams on the line. In the first game, FSU outscored them from the line by 15, which is a rare event and can’t be counted on in Chapel Hill. FSU is going to have to rebound and hit some shots.
The game tips at 4 PM from the Dean Dome, and 3,000 students will be in attendance for the first time this year. The game will be broadcast on ESPN.
FSU is a 2.5 point favorite (2 at kenpom).