Seminoles and Tarheels Clash in Critical ACC Match-Up: Florida St at North Carolina

Florida St Seminoles at North Carolina Tarheels, Dean Smith Center, Chapel Hill, NC
Sunday, February 6, 2011, 2:00 pm Eastern, TV: Fox Sports Net
Opening Line: North Carolina -7 1/2
Current Line: North Carolina -7
Opening Total: 136 1/2
Current Total: 138
Money Line: UNC -325 / FSU +275

Chris Singleton and the Florida Seminoles are 6 1/2 points underdogs at the North Carolina Tarheels

Florida St is 16-6 overall and 6-2 in the ACC. They travel to North Carolina to take on the 16-5 Tarheels. The Tarheels are 6-1 overall. The winner of this game will be alone in second place in the ACC behind Duke. The game has been overshadowed by the shocking departure of Carolina point guard Larry Drew II on Friday. He left the team 4 games after losing his starting job to freshman Kendall Marshall. Drew was averaging only 4.4 points, 2.3 rebounds, 3.9 assists, and 1.1 steals a game, but he was one of the most creative play-makers on the Tarheel Roster.  Florida St has losses to Florida, Ohio St, Butler, Auburn, Virginia Tech, and Clemson. Florida St has wins over Clemson, Hawaii, Baylor, Duke, NC State, Miami, Boston College, and Wake Forest. Florida St won at home versus Wake Forest 85-61. North Carolina has losses to Minnesota, Vanderbilt, Illinois, Texas, and Georgia Tech this year.   They have won 4 straight since the loss at Georgia Tech with wins over Clemson, Miami, NC State, and Boston College. The Tarheels crushed Boston College at Boston 106-74 Tuesday night. They have additional wins Charleston, Kentucky, Rutgers, Virginia, and Virginia Tech. Florida St has covered the last 3 against North Carolina and is 2-1 straight up. Two of those three have gone over the total. Florida St is 13-23 ATS versus teams with winning records the last two seasons. North Carolina is 14-27 ATS versus conference foes the last 3 seasons.

Florida St could be missing two players from their rotation . Forward/Center  Xavier Gibson is out indefinitely with a knee injury and hasn’t played since December 23. Forward Terrance Shannon is questionable against North Carolina for undisclosed reasons. Florida St is led by forward Chris Singleton. He is averaging 13.8 points a game, 7.4 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 2.2 steals, and 1.7 blocks a game. He leads the team in all categories except assists, and is a player of the year candidate. Guard Derwin Kitchen averages 10.2 points, 6 rebounds, 3.6 assists to lead the team, and 1.7 steals a game. Forward Bernard James averages 8.2 points, 5.8 rebounds, and 2.1 blocks a game. Michael Snaer averages 8.2 points, and 2.5 rebounds a game. Florida St is outscoring opponents 70-61 on the season. Florida St is shooting 42.7% from the field, and 33.1% from 3-point range. The Seminoles lead the nation in opponent’s field goal percentage at 35.5%. Florida St makes 66% of their free throws. They pull down 40.6 rebounds a game and have a rebounding margin of  +6.9. Florida St averages 12 assists and 16.5 turnovers. The Seminoles force 16.3 turnovers a game on defense. They are averaging 9 steals and 6 blocks a game.

Besides the whole Drew II situation, guard Justin Watts is questionable with an ankle injury.  Forward Tyler Zeller is the leading scorer for the Tarheels with 14 points a game. He also averages 7 rebounds and 1.3 blocks a game. Forward Harrison Barnes averages 13.1 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 1.4 assists a game. Forward John Henson leads the team in rebounds with 8.4 a game and blocks with 3 a game. He also averages 10.9 points a game. Dexter Strickland leads the team in steals with 1.4 a game. Point Guard Kendall Marshall  leads the team in assists with 4.5 a game. UNC is outscoring opponents 79-68. The Tarheels are shooting 46% from the field and 34.2% from 3-point range. Tarheel opponents are shooting 40% from the field. The Tarheels struggle from the free throw line converting only 65.3% from the line. North Carolina averages 42.4 rebounds a game and has a rebounding margin of +6.7. The lead the nation in rebounding.  They average 15.8 assists and 14 turnovers a game. They force  15.3 turnovers a game on defense. Carolina averages 6.7 steals and 5.6 blocks a game.

It will be interesting to see how North Carolina reacts to the loss of Drew II. It is a very difficult stretch for Carolina as they play Florida St today, then at Duke and Clemson in their next three games. Florida St is very good at defense but has a tendency to turn the ball over. Norht Carolina is very good at rebounding but does tend to have some defensive lapses. I think the game will be close, and Florida St is a better team than people think. They do have a win over Duke already, albeit in Tallahassee but a win is a win.

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