Let the Madness Begin

Let the Madness Begin

The Seminoles are going dancing once again! This is the third year in a row Florida State has been in the NCAA tournament and they are preparing like a team that has been there should prepare.

Senior Terance Mann said they are treating it as a business trip as opposed to just being happy to be there. Hopefully that will help this team keep its focus, as they should be favored in the first two games of the tournament if they win.

As for seeding and the opponent, FSU is the 4 seed in the West and will face the Vermont Catamounts Thursday at 2 PM on TBS. If the Seminoles are victorious they will play the winner of Murray State and Marquette on Saturday.

It was a little puzzling to see Florida State be a 4 seed especially after Friday’s conference tournament results, in which FSU beat Virginia, LSU lost to Florida and Purdue was bounced by Minnesota. FSU beat LSU and Purdue earlier in the season and most people thought the Seminoles passed those two teams with those results. That happened to not be the case, but perhaps the most frustrating part about it for ‘Noles fans was the fact that they will have to play in Hartford, Connecticut, which is 230 miles away from Vermont’s campus instead of Jacksonville or Columbia.

If the Seminoles play as well as they did against Virginia in the ACC tournament it won’t matter when and where the games are as FSU would win by double digits.

Scouting this weekends possible opponents

Anthony Lamb is easily Vermont’s best player as he leads the team in points (21.4) and rebounds (7.8) and is second in assists (2.2) per game. Despite being only 6’7’’ he is the teams best inside threat and can score on the perimeter as well outside.

Vermont is a good rebounding squad, but we’ll see if this continues against the biggest team they will face all season. In the nonconference schedule, Vermont only lost to solid teams on the road including at Kansas (when the Jayhawks were healthy) when Lamb scored 24.

The rest of the team is packed full of guards that can shoot including the Duncan Brothers, Ernie, Everett and Robin.

On defense, Vermont likes to play man-to-man, which is great news for Seminole fans as they struggle against the zone. The only way I see Florida State getting knocked out in the first round is if the Seminoles turn the ball over 16 plus times and the Catamounts find two more scorers to help Anthony Lamb.

Marquette is led by the Big East player of the year Markus Howard. He averages 25.3 and when he gets going he can really light up the scoreboard as he has had three 50 point plus games in his career.

The Eagles have lost five of their last six partly because of Howard’s wrist injury. The Hauser brothers, Sam and Joey, are big guys that can score from outside. Center Theo John is Marquette’s only inside force that is able to get rebounds consistently. The Eagles like to play fast so they are susceptible to giving up a lot of points, especially to teams that can drive to the basket.

Murray State goes as their best player Ja Morant goes. He is 8th best in the NCAA with 24.6 points per game and leads the nation at 10 assists per game. He is freakishly athletic and has been on SportsCenter for his dunks every other week, but he is able to score in a variety of ways. Most draft experts predict Morant to go in the first 5 picks.

The Racers like to use the fast-break to score, which can be troublesome for the ‘Noles if FSU can’t hang on to the ball. Murray State’s size makes it difficult for them to rebound. That would be concerning for the Racers as the Seminoles are very good on the boards.

Women’s basketball

The lady ‘Noles are going to the NCAA tournament as well. The Garnet and Gold are the 5 seed in the Greensboro region and will play Bucknell in the first round Friday at 4 PM in Charlotte. If Florida State can advance they will play the winner of South Carolina and Belmont. The Seminoles will need to shoot the three ball better which will allow them to spread the floor and hopefully score a few more points. If that happens, they might find themselves in the Sweet 16.

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