Florida State at NC State
Florida State (18-7, 9-2) at NC State (18-8, 7-4), 1:00 PM, ACC Network split/ESPN3
Not much to say about NC State losing at 20-point lead at Duke, so I’ll let @akulawolf on Twitter from the blog Backing the Pack say it for me:
I don’t know what there is to say about that game because I don’t have the strength to make jokes right now. These guys have been so close to breakthrough wins all season and they just have not been able to finish the job. I feel terrible for the players. I just hope they’re better at mental recovery than I am, because there’s another very important game on Saturday. I won’t be ready, but maybe they will be.
Florida State did its job to keep pace atop the league by coming back to beat Virginia Tech 48-47 on Thursday night, but calling it an ugly game would be an understatement. The Seminoles haven’t played well lately, averaging 57.5 points in the last three games, lucky to escape with wins in two out of the three. This is a winnable game for NC State, but it depends on where their heads are.
Stat to watch: None. This game will be a lot more about the mentality of each team, but particularly NC State.
Most important players: Scott Wood, NC State and Michael Snaer, Florida State. Michael Snaer has now made two game-winners for Florida State in ACC play with a three-pointer to beat Virginia Tech nearly a month after his game-winning three at Duke. And he has made numerous big shots down the stretch of close games, but he hasn’t played all that well in other stretches, shooting just 17-of-49 (34.7%) in that span. But Snaer has shown how good he is throughout the year and he’s more than capable of having a huge game. In four games against NC State, Snaer has averaged 11 points on 17-of-31 shooting (54.8%).
Scott Wood has had his way with Florida State over his career, averaging 16.8 points on 21-of-39 (53.8%) shooting and making 18-of-32 (56.3%) in four games. He did most of his damage in two games versus the Seminoles in 2010, when he averaged 24.5 points and made 13-of-21 three’s. He had a rough day against Duke, shooting 1-of-7 from the floor and 7-of-10 from the free throw line, including missing one late. He’ll need to bounce back because his shooting could open up the floor for State’s offense.
Random stat(s): In their comeback win over Virginia Tech on Thursday, Florida State had 12 points in the second half in the first 19:04 but scored eight in the final 56 seconds. … In NC State’s loss to Duke, the Wolfpack went up by 20 points with around 11 minutes to go. At that point, they had scored 1.05 points per possession and missed 20 shots. In the final 11 minutes, they scored 0.46 points per possession, missed 13 shots and turned it over five times.
Prediction: NC State 75, Florida State 67
Last week: 7-4
Season: 111-39 (47-20 ACC)