The Florida State Seminoles are the 4-seed in the East Region of this year’s NCAA Tournament bracket. Florida State won the ACC regular-season title and nearly double-dipped with an ACC Tournament win as well. It’s fair to wonder how their championship game loss to Georgia Tech impacted their March Madness seeding.
At any rate, Florida State is still no team to be taken lightly in this year’s NCAA Tournament. Leonard Hamilton’s group blends talent and athleticism with experience to form a team that has the makings of a deep March Madness run. The following provides an overview of the Florida State Seminoles and a prognosis for how they’ll fare in the NCAA Tournament.
Florida State Seminoles Betting Preview
Record: 16-6 overall, 11-4 ACC
Points Scored/Game: 78.9 (23rd overall, 1st in ACC)
Points Allowed/Game: 70.3 (168th overall, 9th in ACC)
Outright Odds: +4000 (BettingPros Consensus)
One need not look further than Florida State’s scoring statistics this season to recognize that the Seminoles are better at scoring than at playing defense. FSU led the ACC in points on a per-game basis and tied for the conference’s best scoring margin at +8.6. As a team, the Seminoles shot 39% from the 3-point range.
From an intangibles standpoint, Florida State is easily one of the most athletic teams in the country. They combine this with strong experience and basketball IQ. With nine players averaging over 14 minutes per game, the Seminoles are far more than a one-trick pony. Several players are capable of leading the team in scoring on any given night. Opponents will be forced to gameplan for a wide variety of things when prepping to face the Noles.
You’d certainly like to see Florida State have a better ranking defensively than they do. The Seminoles’ 70.3 points allowed per game only ranked 9th in the ACC and 168th nationally. A collective team defensive effort will be necessary for NCAA Tournament success.
Another possible concern comes at the foul line. Florida State shot 73.9% from the charity stripe this year as a team. While that’s not bad, it could stand to improve.
Why They’ll Win it All
An experienced backcourt led by M.J. Walker has what it takes to extend Florida State’s March Madness stay deep into the tournament. Walker leads a balanced FSU scoring attack that sees RaiQuan Gray and Scottie Bruns join him in averaging 11.0 points per game or more.
Where Florida State could really provide problems for opponents in March is through the bevy of playmakers behind just their leading scorers. Take the Seminoles ACC tournament semifinal game against North Carolina, for example. While Walker and Anthony Polite combined for just 14 points, center Balsa Koprivica dropped a 17-point, 11-rebound double-double line. That kind of scoring versatility is hard to come by for the majority of teams in college basketball.
Why They Won’t Win it All
Can Florida State defend at a championship-caliber clip? That is the biggest question mark surrounding this Seminoles team ahead of the NCAA Tournament. As the 4-seed in the East region, they’ll also face a challenging road just to make it out of the first weekend. UNC Greensboro is no slouch of a 13-seed. Assuming FSU gets through their first game, either Colorado or Georgetown, both of them power conference teams, will await in the Second Round.
Florida State Seminoles March Madness Prediction
After discussing the tough road ahead for Florida State above, it’s also worth mentioning that should the Seminoles get to the Sweet 16, they very well could draw a banged-up Michigan team. For as difficult as the first weekend will be, Florida State has the best-case scenario for their region and avoids the other three 1-seeds.
Momentum is a fickle thing in March, and Florida State doesn’t exactly come into the NCAA Tournament playing their best basketball. That said, the talent and experience here are undeniable. If they take care of business and catch a few matchup breaks along the way, this team has Final Four potential. While that may not quite pan out, I firmly expect to see the Seminoles advancing to the second weekend.
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