2012 NCAA Tournament
Round of 64 – East Region
Friday, 3/16/12, 2:45 p.m. Eastern, TV: CBS
#3 Florida State Seminoles (24-9, 12-4 ACC) vs. #14 St. Bonaventure Bonnies (20-11, 10-6 Atlantic-10)
Bridgestone Arena – Nashville, TN
Opening Line: Florida State -6.5
Current Line: Florida State -6.5
Opening Total: 132
Current Total: 129.5
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker
The third-seeded Florida State Seminoles will try for an encore performance in the NCAA tournament after winning the ACC tournament title last Sunday. While that may be a tall order for the Seminoles (24-9, 12-4 ACC), they will begin their quest for a national championship against the 14th-seeded St. Bonaventure Bonnies (20-11, 10-6 Atlantic-10) in second-round action of the East Region on Friday.
Florida State (-6.5, O/U 129.5) is coming off an outstanding campaign in the ACC, defeating perennial powers Duke and North Carolina four times in five meetings, including a 85-82 win over the Tar Heels in the conference tourney championship game. The Seminoles enter the Big Dance on a five-game winning streak both straight-up and against the spread and were underdogs in three of them. In fact, they have been underdogs in six of their last eight games with the OVER going 7-1. The team has failed to cover four of the past six times as favorites.
That could be the case again here against the Bonnies, who have performed well lately as well. They are 7-1 SU and ATS in their last eight games and coming off a 67-56 victory against Xavier in the title game of their conference tourney. A-10 Player of the Year Andrew Nicholson will be a tough matchup for whoever has to guard him, especially following a monster performance of 26 points, 14 rebounds and eight blocks against the Musketeers.
The 6-foot-9, 240-pound Nicholson averages 18.4 points per game and is a tremendous shooter with great range, connecting on 65 percent of his attempts, including nearly 40 percent from beyond the 3-point arc. The NBA prospect has gotten the attention of Florida State head coach Leonard Hamilton, who has been busy preparing a game plan around how to limit the big man.
St. Bonaventure has not been to the NCAA tournament though during Nicholson’s standout career. The senior got to play in the CBI tournament last year and scored a game-high 20 points in a 69-54 opening-round loss to Central Florida.
The Seminoles have a lot more experience in the Big Dance, appearing for the fourth straight season following a tough 72-71 overtime loss to VCU in last year’s Sweet 16. They beat Texas A&M and Notre Dame before losing to the Rams during their improbable run to the Final Four. Florida State has held opponents to an average of less than 63 points per game on 38 percent shooting this season and will look to lock down Nicholson and end his career with a loss.