In what could be the most entertaining game of the weekend, the Florida State Seminoles and Michigan Wolverines meet in the early evening CBS matchup on Sunday in the Sweet Sixteen. This could be the best game of the tournament so far, as No. 4 Florida State looks for a small upset over No. 1 Michigan. It wouldn’t be much of an upset with the Seminoles slim 2-point underdogs at the moment.
A lot of people are impressed with what 18-6 Florida State did against the Colorado Buffaloes. That performance is certainly going to attract money on Florida State in this one. The Seminoles put on an impressive display, as they cruised past Colorado by a score of 71-53. I was never too high on Colorado this season besides McKinley Wright, so I’m not sure it was as amazing of a win as people are touting, though.
Yes, beating a No. 5 seed by 18 points is always going to be impressive, but they must navigate through the waters against a much better Michigan on Sunday. The Wolverines are largely being ignored through the tournament because of the absence of Isaiah Livers. One of the anchors of the Michigan offense, Livers, suffered a season-ending injury during the semifinal round in the Big Ten Tournament.
That shifted the odds away from Michigan to win the NCAA Tournament. If you feel confident in Michigan winning the dance, you can still get pretty good odds on them to win. There is value there that you wouldn’t get if Livers was healthy and active. Michigan is coming off a 86-78 win over the LSU Tigers to reach the Sweet Sixteen. The Wolverines beat the Tigers at their own game. LSU likes to run and gun, well, Michigan got up and down the floor in a hurry.
Michigan made it look easy in the first-round with a 82-66 win over Texas Southern. The only question about that game was whether Michigan was going to cover the 24.5 points. They didn’t but didn’t exactly go full on in that outing. Florida State faced more pressure against UNC Greensboro in the first-round than against Colorado. They did just enough to pull away from UNC Greensboro for a 64-54 win. Head below for our free Florida State vs. Michigan pick on March 28, 2021.
Florida State Seminoles (4) vs. Michigan Wolverines (1) Sweet Sixteen Betting Odds:
Florida State vs. Michigan Prediction:
As we’ve seen several times this season, Michigan has the talent to win with their offense or defense. Juwan Howard has done an excellent job at preparing this team for both scenarios. He was well aware that LSU was going to push the tempo. That’s all LSU does and Howard had his team prepared for the challenge. Michigan put up 86 points in a 86-78 win to cover the four points. Their offense was clicking against Texas Southern with 82 points. Eli Brooks and Hunter Dickinson are really finding their way on the court without Livers recently.
It took them a minute to get into a groove, but the offense is really clicking now. Overall on the season, the Wolverines scored an average of 76.5 points per game for 62nd in the country. They were incredibly efficient with a 48.8% field goal percentage and 38.6% from deep. Michigan is 12th in the country in three-point percentage. If Florida State wants to run downhill, Michigan has the length and athleticism to match their offense.
Dickinson should be able to neutralize the size of the Seminoles around the rim. And that’s the thing, the Wolverines don’t have to only rely on their offense to win games. Michigan is 54th in the NCAA with 65.2 points conceded per game. They’re holding teams to a wildly impressive 39% from the field for 8th in the nation. Michigan must stress defense in this one because the ‘Noles can certainly score the ball.
Florida State is 30th with 79.6 points scored per game. However, they haven’t scored 80 points or more since March 3 against Boston College. Florida State can score, but the fact they struggled to score at will on UNC Greensboro was concerning. Whereas the Wolverines were running over the Tigers. Florida State should provide a tougher matchup defensively than LSU, but Michigan should be able to score with Dickinson and Brooks. I like Michigan to pull away late for a 74-68 win over Florida State to advance to the Elite Eight.