ACC Game of the Week: Florida State at Virginia
No. 22 Florida State (19-9, 10-4) at No. 24 Virginia (21-7, 8-6), 7:00 PM, ESPN2/ESPN3
Florida State can no longer win the league, and there may be a bit of an emotional letdown after two straight losses. With Miami’s loss, they’ve locked up third place but the Seminoles really need to finish strong. With games against Virginia and Clemson remaining, it won’t be easy. And Virginia would like to solidify its fourth-place standing – the Cavaliers will close the year at Maryland, but they could still fall out of fourth place pretty easily; Miami and NC State are both tied at 8-7 behind them.
Key to the game: Turnovers. In the first meeting, Virginia had an extremely uncharacteristic 20 turnovers (leading to 22 Florida State points). But Florida State had 19 turnovers of their own, nearly negating what Virginia did. Both of these teams have had turnovers creep up as a problem, but both have managed to calm it down in their biggest games. Each team will have to take care of the ball.
Each team’s stars. Mike Scott had a big game in the first meeting with 16 points, but he had seven turnovers and attempted just eight shots. Virginia will need more out of him, and he struggled against North Carolina’s length for just six points on 3-of-13 shooting. Virginia will need more out of him, but it won’t be easy against FSU’s length.
FSU’s Michael Snaer had eight points on 3-of-9 shooting and five turnovers the first time against Virginia. But his 54% shooting against Miami on Sunday was his first 50% shooting day since February 1st, which is a good sign for the Seminoles. He had been struggling, and Florida State needs him to take – and make – big shots.
Random stat: Feeding the post – something both the announcers and myself said Florida State should have done more of against Duke – doesn’t always work well for FSU. Michael Rogner at Tomahawk Nation breaks it down, possession by possession, and concludes:
For the game FSU executed 13 post entry possessions (not counting the numerous post entries that were kicked back out for the offense to reset), and they scored four times. That’s 8 points in 13 possessions, or 0.61 points per possession. When they didn’t post entry they scored 58 in 53 possessions, or 1.09 per possession. That’s a difference of 48%.
Prediction: Virginia 62, Florida State 57
Last week: 7-4
Season: 126-45 (62-22 ACC)