Florida State Seminoles vs. Duke Blue Devils – NCAAM March 11

ACC Tournament Quarterfinals

(2) Florida State (15-5, 11-4) vs. (10) Duke

  • Time: 3:30PM PST | 5:30PM CST | 6:30PM EST
  • Location: Greensboro Coliseum, Greensboro, NC
  • TV: ESPN


Duke is two for two in the 2021 ACC Tournament after the Blue Devils win over Louisville on Wednesday, so here comes the big one – beat the Seminoles and Duke is solidly in the NCAA Tournament.

The Blue Devils are recalibrated, so to speak, after losing their last three games of the season and giving up an average of 84 points per game in those losses. BC and Louisville only averaged combined 53.5 points in these two tournament games. Whether that is more about Duke’s defense or the mantra or the last place Eagles or the inattentive Cardinals will be seen this evening.

Inattentive should be the last adjective to describe Florida State after the Seminoles’ poor first half at Notre Dame last Saturday cost them a second ACC regular season championship in a row. The Seminoles should be revitalized, focused, and ready to win three in a row to capture this tournament’s crown.

These two teams did not play in the regular season as the January 2nd game was postponed and was never made up. Duke has won five in a row in the series by an average of 4.6 points per game.

Florida State has established itself as a premiere college basketball program under coach Leonard Hamilton and this game is the epitome of the “NewBloods” vs. “BlueBloods” motif.

Vs. The Spread


  • The Blue Devils check in at 6-3 ATS in their last 9 games
  • The total has gone OVER in 9 of Duke’s last 12 games
  • The Blue Devils are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games vs. the Seminoles

Florida State:

  • The total has gone OVER in 6 of FSU’s last 7 games
  • The UNDER has been the call in 8 of the last 11 meetings between the Seminoles and Blue Devils
  • The Seminoles have been OVER the number in 4 of their last 5 contests

Last Time Out

Duke won it’s second game of the tournament with a 70-56 decision over a Louisville team that had no energy and for most of the evening. The Cardinals hit Duke with a 16-0 run late in the first half as they erased a 14-point deficit and took a 29-27 lead. However, out of halftime, the Blue Devils halted the Cardinals once again as Duke enjoyed a 14-2 blitz and never looked back.

Duke collapsed it’s defense into the paint and dared Louisville, who is last in the ACC in three-point percentage, to shoot the triple. The Cardinals were 7-of-25 from behind the arc and shot 30.6 percent. Mark Williams had an incredible game in the middle for Duke as he scored 23 points and grabbed 19 rebounds.

Florida State’s 83-73 loss at Notre Dame last Saturday came with a price as it denied the Seminoles two outright ACC regular season championships in a row. The Seminoles were outplayed for most of the afternoon as they trailed 47-31 at the half before rallying to cut it to four late in the game. Scottie Barnes led FSU with 17 points and RaiQuan Gray netted 15.

Teams Spread Money Line Total Points
Duke +4 (-110) +164 O 151.5 (-105)
Florida State -4 (-110) -184 U 151.5 (-115)

Advantage, Duke

Duke Blue Devils LogoThe Blue Devils have once again picked their game up and are on the cusp of negating the doubters if they can pick off a win against the Seminoles. To do that, they have to display the offensive efficiency that they have had the last two evenings at the ACC Tournament. Freshman Mark Williams can be a problem as his game has hit another level as he has averaged 18.5 points and 7.5 rebounds in his last four games while making a blistering 31-of-40 shots.

That inside presence has allowed Matt Hurt (18.3 ppg, 6.3 rpg) to roam more on the perimeter where he can find his three or go up around the foul line or the top of the key for his mid-range game. Florida State is looking to re-establish it’s solidity on defense after allowing Notre Dame to shoot 42.6 percent. The ‘Noles had held the previous four opponents under 40 percent.

Key Blue Devils Stat:

Mark Williams’ rise has been a case study over the last six games as he now is maybe the most effective player on both ends of the floor for coach Mike Krzyzewski. He has 74 points so far this month and is shooting 77.5 percent from the field as the calendar has swung to March as his eight steals are second in the ACC and his 30 rebounds are third in the league.


Handling Florida State’s pressure and physicality will be a huge key as Duke is on it’s third game in three days while the Seminoles should be revitalized and renewed for the post season in facing their first game. The rest and the fact that Duke has a much shorter bench will be a huge factor. Hurt, D.J. Steward and Wendell Moore, Jr. played 36 or more minutes.

Advantage, Florida State

Florida State Seminoles LogoFlorida State has won five of it’s last seven games as it has one of the most efficient offenses in the nation (11th/NCAA) and goes up against Duke’s defense which is 222nd In defensive efficiency, per kenpom.com. The Seminoles need to get off to a quick start and wear Duke down mentally as well as physically. That starts with team leaders and top two scorers MJ Walker (13.1 ppg, 43.7% -3) and RaiQuan Gray (12.4 ppg, 6.9 rpg) readily asserting their games. Scottie Barnes is 15-of-27 over his last three games as he has averaged 12 points over that time while amassing 6.3 boards.

Key Seminoles Stat:

Getting in the open floor and running in transition will be a ket before Duke sets it’s defense. The Blue Devils switched all the screens last night against Louisville and that wouldn’t be a surprises if they do it again. The Seminoles need to cut down their turnovers on offense as they have averaged 17.5 per game over their last five outings.


Balsa Koprivica (8.7 ppg, 5.4 rpg) will give Florida State more depth in the paint to cope with the surging Williams. He is 17-of-29 in his last five games and should be able to be a factor on the glass with Gray, Barnes and Malik Osborne.

Winner: Florida State (-4) 79, Duke 73

The Bets
Florida State Seminoles -4
Florida State Seminoles
UNDER 151.5
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Kenneth Cross / Author

Kenneth Cross is a new entry to The Sports Geek staff as he has 25 years of experience in print, broadcast, and internet sports journalism. Cross is a lover of all sports, but college basketball is his passion. He estimates that he has seen around 1,500 college basketball games - live and in-person - and hopes that grows this season. If you listen to Radio, you have likely heard him on Sundays covering the Carolina Panthers for some 20 years. Now in Tampa Bay, he works as a national radio correspondent.