ACC College Basketball Picks: Florida State Seminoles at #2 Virginia Cavaliers

Florida State Seminoles at #2 Virginia Cavaliers
John Paul Jones Arena – Charlottesville, Virginia
Sunday, February 22, 2015, 6:30 pm Eastern, TV: ESPNU
Opening Line: Virginia -14 1/2
Current Line; Virginia -15 1/2
Opening Total: 113 1/2
Current Total: 114
Opening Money Line: Virginia -1800 / Florida State +1050
Current Money Line: Virginia -1800 / Florida State +1050

College Football Sportsbook
Virginia looks to remain in first in the ACC as they host Florida State Sunday.

With only a handful of games left in the regular season, the ACC title will come down to three teams. The 24-1 Virginia Cavaliers lead the conference with a 12-1 record over 12-3 Notre Dame and 11-3 Duke. Both Virginia and Duke are currently projected as #1 seeds in the NCAA tournament. However, that is next month. For now, Virginia hosts the 15-12 Florida State Seminoles Sunday. The Seminoles are 7-7 and part of a four way tie for seventh place with Pittsburgh, Miami and North Carolina State. FSU is firmly on the bubble for the NCAA Tournament but the Seminoles are making a late charge having won 5 of their last 7 games.

Florida State leads the series 22-21 against Virginia, but the Cavaliers are 13-8 in Charlottesville against the Seminoles. Virginia won all three meetings against Florida State last season all by 12 or 13 points. The Cavaliers won the last meeting 64-51 in the ACC Tournament last season. This is the only scheduled meeting between the teams this season. This series only dates back to 1992 when Florida State joined the ACC.

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Florida State is coached by Leonard Hamilton. The Seminoles have neutral site losses to Providence and Massachusetts in a tournament in Connecticut, home losses to Northeastern, Nebraska, NC State, Clemson and Duke, plus road losses at Notre Dame, Mississippi State, Syracuse, Pittsburgh, and North Carolina. Florida State has home wins over Manhattan, Central Florida, Florida, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest, Miami, and Boston College 69-60 Wednesday, a neutral site win over South Florida in Miami, plus road wins at Clemson, Virginia Tech, and Georgia Tech. FSU is 13-11 ATS and the total is 8-10 this season. The Seminoles were 6 point favorites against Boston College and the total was 131.

Virginia is coached by Tony Bennett. Virginia lost at home to Duke. The Cavaliers have home wins over George Washington, Cleveland State, Harvard, Davidson, North Carolina State, Clemson, Georgia Tech, Louisville, Wake Forest and Pittsburgh 61-49 Monday. Virginia has neutral site wins over LaSalle and Rutgers in a tournament in Brooklyn, plus road wins at James Madison, Maryland, Virginia Commonwealth, Miami, Notre Dame, Boston College, Virginia Tech, North Carolina and NC State. Virginia has won 5 straight games since the Duke loss. The Cavaliers are 14-9 ATS and the total is 8-11-1 this season. Virginia was an 11.5 point favorite against Pitt and the total was 119.5.

Florida State is outscoring teams 68-67 this season. The Seminoles are shooting 46.4% from the field and 31% from 3 point range. FSU makes 66.9% of their free throws. Opponents are shooting 41.6% from the field and 32.7% from 3 point range. The Seminoles average 35.5 rebounds per game and opponents average 29.1 per game. FSU averages 12.1 assists, 14.2 turnovers, 5.6 steals and 4.9 blocks per game. Opponents average 11.9 assists, 11.9 turnovers, 6 steals and 2.4 blocks per game.

Guard Aaron Thomas averages 14.8 points, 3.5 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 1.3 steals per game. Xavier Rathan-Mayes averages 13.6 points, 3.6 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 1.1 steals per game. Montay Brandon averages 12.2 points, 5.5 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 1 steal per game. Devon Bookert averages 11 points, 3.7 rebounds, and 2.7 assists per game. Phil Cofer averages 7.1 points and 4.9 rebounds. Four other players average at least 12 minutes a game in the rotation.

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Virginia is outscoring teams 66-51 this season. The Cavaliers are #1 nationally in points allowed. Virginia is shooting 46% from the field and 36.5% from 3 point range. Virginia is #40 nationally in free throw shooting at 73.5%. Opponents are shooting 35.9% from the field and 30.8% from 3 point range. Virginia is #3 nationally in field goal defense and #37 in three point defense. The Cavaliers average 37 rebounds per game and allow 25.3 per game. Virginia is #5 nationally in rebounds allowed. The Cavaliers average 13.2 assists, 8.6 turnovers, 5.1 steals and 4.4 blocks per game. Opponents average 8.7 assists, 10.1 turnovers, 4.7 steals and 2.6 blocks per game.

Malcolm Brogdon averages 13.8 points, 3.7 rebounds, and 2.7 assists.  Guard Justin Anderson averages 13.4  points, 4.3 rebounds and 2 assists per game. He is out indefinitely with a broken finger. Anthony Gill averages 11.2 points, and 6.7 rebounds. Mike Tobey averages 7.7 points and 5.3 rebounds. Darion Atkins averages 7 points and 6.1 rebounds. London Parrantes averages 4.5 assists per game. Mariel Shayok, Isaiah Wilkins, Evan Nolte and Devon Hall will also get minutes in the rotation.

Florida State is 4-0 ATS in road games, overall, in ACC games against teams with winning home records, 6-1 after a cover, 4-1 against teams with winning records and after a straight up win, The under is 14-3 in this series recently.

Virginia is 28-9-2 against teams with winning records, 5-2 in Sunday games, 2-5 overall, and in ACC games, 1-5 after a straight up win, and 0-4 after allowing less than 50 points. The home team is 4-1 ATS in this series recently. The Cavaliers have covered 4 of the last 5 games against the Seminoles.

Florida State has played well recently going 6-3 with narrow losses to North Carolina and Duke by a combined 7 points. It probably won’t be enough to make the NCAA Tournament with an RPI in the 90’s unless they somehow win the ACC tournament. This is a tough match-up for FSU as Virginia is suffocating on defense. Duke scored 69 against the Cavaliers but since January 7 only North Carolina has scored as many as 64 points against Virginia. It isn’t easy to win when you are only scoring in the 50’s. Virginia stays hot and wins comfortably against Florida State.

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