No. 11 Florida State (15-4, 11-3) at Notre Dame (9-14, 6-11)
- Time: 9 am PST – 10 am CST – 12 am EST
- Place: Purcell Pavilion, Notre Dame, Ind.
- TV: ESPN
The Florida State Seminoles can win back-to-back outright ACC championships and further the legacy and the Hall of Fame invitation for legendary coach Leonard Hamilton with a win over the Fighting Irish.
Florida State clinched at least a tie on Wednesday night when the Seminoles rolled to a 93-65 win over Boston College. Florida State has won five out of it’s last six games after the Seminoles were on covid protocol from Jan 27 through Feb. 13.
The Fighting Irish is closing out another tough season as they have lost four in a row as coach Mike Brey worked on a rebuild which will be in it’s favor next season with a senior-laden roster.
The Seminoles won at Notre Dame, 79-71, last season and with the win this would be the 12th year in a row that FSU has won at least 12 ACC games.
The Seminoles have a 7-4 leads in the series and have won the last three.
Vs. The Spread:
- The Seminoles are 8-3-1 ATS in their last 12 games
- The total OVER in 5 of FSU’s last 6 game
- FSU is 1-7 ATS in their last 7 games
- The Fighting Irish is 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games
- The total has gone UNDER in 8 of Notre Dame’s last 12 games
- Notre Dame is 5-0 ATS in their last 5 Saturday home games
Last Time Out:
M.J. Walker scored 18 points and RaiQuan Gray added 16 as Florida State rolled past Boston College, 93-64, on senior night in Tallahassee. Walker hit six three-point field goals as the Seminoles 55.6 percent while knocking down 13-of-27.
Notre Dame fell to N.C.State at home, 80-69, on Wednesday. Prentiss Hubb led the Fighting Irish with 14 points while Trey Wertz added 12 as Notre Dame trailed almost all the way in only leading 2-0. The Irish shot 37.2 percent from the floor and made 10 triples.
|Teams||Spread||Money Line||Total Points|
|Florida State||-6½ (-115)||–||O 153 (-110)|
|Notre Dame||+6½ (-105)||–||U 153 (-110)|
Advantage, Florida State:
The Seminoles are deep and athletic, they can score as the ball on about anyone the play as they average 79.9 point per game in ACC play while outscoring opponents by (+10.6) points. MJ Walker (13.1 ppg) or RaiQuan Gray (12.2 ppg) have been good enough to be all-ACC first teamers, but if voters do not look past the points averages, it may not happen. Coach Leonard Hamilton’s development of depth and approach to playing 10-11 people make FSU a nightmare to cover for any defense, but the numbers do not correlate to having a couple of high points men. The Irish force only 8.4 turnovers per game and will be at a disadvantage athletically which will cause problems on both ends of the court.
Key Seminoles Stat:
The defensive end of the floor has been just as impressive where the Seminoles allow only 39.9 percent and then 69.4 points. In fact, in the last four games, FSU’s defense has crested to the point where the last four opponents have averaged only 36.8 percent from the field. The ‘Noles also lead the ACC in blocks with 5.3 per games and they have 21 blocks in their last three games. RaiQuan Gray leads with a team high 28 steals and is second in blocks with 17 which is behind Balsa Koprivica’s 23.
Scottie Barnes (10.9 ppg) is the third leading scorer behind Gray and Walker, but his assists have been rising as he leads ACC freshmen with 4.4 per game. Anthony Polite is becoming a supplemental scorer as he averages 10 points per game in his last six and 11.7 in his last three games.
Advantage, Notre Dame:
Coach Mike Brey has this Notre Dame offense percolating as it is 17th in the nation in offensive efficiency. The Irish make 35.5 percent of their threes as five players make 23 or more behind 38 from leading score Prentiss Hubb (13.4 ppg). Matt Laszewski has made 43.1 percent of his threes while sinking 58.4 percent. The athleticism and length of the Florida State defense presents a challenge with the shot blocking ability that we mentioned and the ability to force turnovers.
Key Fighting Irish Stat:
A trademark of Mike Brey’s tenure at Notre Dame is to teach his players to play defense without fouling. The Irish average only 12.6 fouls per game which is second in the ACC. They have finished first in the ACC nine times and first in the NCAA on five occasions since 2009-10.
Juwan Durham’s length and shot blocking ability will be important against Florida State’s size and athleticism. He averages 2.09 blocks per game over his career and has scored in double figures in 12 of his last 13 games.
Winner: Florida State (-6½) 79, Notre Dame 70