Some big-time college basketball games are coming up in Tallahassee over the next few days
Home games against North Carolina State Saturday at noon and Virginia Tech Tuesday at 7 will be important games to decide seeding in the ACC tournament and NCAA tournament.
The Wolfpack and the Hokies have both been solid teams on the offensive side of the ball this season despite playing in one of the lowest scoring games of the season last month (Virginia Tech beat NC State 47-24). The Wolfpack like to play at a fast pace while using a four-guard lineup to shoot a lot of threes. Turnovers can be an issue for them, which plays right into FSU’s hands.
Virginia Tech likes to play a little more methodical which helps them get good shots and keep the turnovers to a minimum. The Hokies do not have much depth on the interior but their center Kerry Blackshear has been playing great basketball as of late. If the Seminole big guys can get him into foul trouble that would be good news for the home team.
How we got to this point
This past Saturday Florida State had one of their worst shooting performances of the season making just 31% of their field-goal attempts. With both centers, Christ Koumadje and Mfiondu Kabengele, getting into first-half foul trouble the Seminoles had to rely on their perimeter shooting. This was not what Hamilton likes to see, as the Seminoles plan to do most of their scoring in the paint.
FSU shot 31 three-point attempts connecting on just 10. In addition to shooting poorly, the Seminoles where crushed on the glass getting out rebounded by 15. Koumadje and Kabengele combined for only 14 pts. David Nichols led the team with 16 pts.
It was good to see the Garnet and Gold leave their poor shooting and bad rebounding in Chapel Hill. Upon returning home the Seminoles grinded out a 68-61 win against Notre Dame.
The Irish shot the ball the best they have all year in the first 24 minutes of the game. With this unexpected shooting performance and FSU’s inability to hold onto the ball, Notre Dame had an 8-point lead with 16 minutes to go. The Seminoles whittled the lead down to 3 with 7 minutes to go when Devin Vassell’s dunk and 3-pointer gave the home team the 2 point lead.
The FSU lead was at one possession when Terance Mann came out of the sky for a spectacular put-back dunk of his own to all but the seal the Seminole victory. The aforementioned Vassell had a team-high 13 points and Koumadje and Kabengele went for double figures.
Leonard Hamilton’s team is now 22-6 overall and 10-5 in ACC play, which is good enough for 5th-place. FSU can move into a tie with Virginia Tech for 4th-place with a victory against North Carolina State Saturday.
Finishing 4th in the ACC would be a huge accomplishment for this team and would give them the coveted double bye in the ACC tournament in Charlotte starting March 13. This would mean the Seminoles would need to only win three games to win the conference tournament title.
The Seminoles have struggled down the stretch losing 4 out of their last 5 games, including a 94-88 loss to number 17 Syracuse on Wednesday night. Florida State still has a chance to finish out strong with a road trip to Georgia Tech on Sunday looming.
With a win, the ladies will secure the 6 seed in the ACC tournament. With a loss they could fall to the 8 seed behind Clemson and North Carolina. The Seminoles will start playing in Greensboro on Thursday whether they are the 6, 7 or 8 seed. As of now FSU is 21-7 overall, 9-6 in conference play and ranked no. 22.