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NCAA Basketball Spread: Off
The ACC Conference Tournament will get underway in earnest on Friday in Greensboro. Miami and Florida State will battle for the third time this year in the final game of the quarterfinals. The teams split the season series. Florida State is safely in the NCAA Tournament field, but Miami is right on the bubble. The Hurricanes likely need to win this game to have any chance at earning a berth. Can Miami top their intrastate rivals on Friday night?
Reggie Johnson had an eligibility scare a couple weeks ago, but he is back in the lineup for the Hurricanes. Johnson gives the team an inside presence they badly need. He averages 10.4 blocks and 7.1 boards per game. Durand Scott is Miami’s leading scorer at 12.9 points per game. Scott is a 6’5 guard from New York City, and he is a guy who works hard on both ends of the floor. Malcolm Grant has struggled badly with his shot all year. Grant was the team’s leading scorer last year, but he is shooting just 33.6% from the floor this season. Kenny Kadji transferred in from Florida, and he has been terrific. Kadji is a 6’11 forward who has an extremely versatile game. He shoots 44% from beyond the arc, and he grabs 5.6 rebounds per game.
Miami looked great defensively last night in their win over Georgia Tech, but part of that was due to Georgia Tech’s offensive woes. The Hurricanes struggle on the defensive glass, and that is an area where they’ll need to improve if they wish to make a run in this tournament. The Hurricanes allow 65.7 points per game.
Florida State has some signature wins this year, which puts them safely into the tournament. Clearly this is a team that is capable of beating anyone in the country. The reason this team is able to beat anyone is their terrific defense. The Seminoles allow opponents to shoot just 37.9% from the floor. Bernard James is a great shot blocker in the paint. He already has 69 blocks this year. Florida State has eight players with at least 16 steals this year.
Michael Snaer is the team’s leading scorer at 14.1 points per contest. Snaer is a veteran guard who has knocked plenty of big shots in his days with the team. Bernard James is their primary scorer down low. He also leads the team with 8.3 rebounds per game. The Seminoles are aggressive on the offensive glass, and that is an area where they might have the advantage in this one. This isn’t a team that has a ton of offensive weapons.
Florida State is the better defensive team. This time of the year it is usually the best defense that wins. I like the Seminoles in a very close game.
College Basketball Prediction: Florida State 68 Miami 65
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