Southwest Region Sweet 16 Tourney Picks: Florida State vs. VCU

2011 NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 – Southwest Region
#10 Florida State Seminoles vs. #11 VCU Rams, Alamodome, San Antonio, TX
Friday, March 25, 2011, 9:57 pm Eastern, TV: TBS
Opening Line: Florida State -3.5
Current Line: Florida State -4
Opening Total: 133
Current Total: 130.5
Money Line: Florida State -190 / VCU +160

Florida State VCU NCAA Tournament Preview
Florida State's Chris Singleton is coming off his best week of practice after returning from a broken foot.

The 11th-seeded VCU Rams (26-11) have already won three games in the NCAA tournament, scoring more points in each as the Big Dance has progressed.  The Rams might have trouble keeping that pace up when they meet the 10th-seeded Florida State Seminoles (23-10) in this Southwest Region Sweet 16 matchup on Friday at the Alamodome in San Antonio.

The Seminoles (-4) are the best defensive team in the country, allowing opponents to shoot just 36 percent from the field.  They have been especially impressive in their first two tourney games, holding both #7 Texas A&M and #2 Notre Dame to 31 percent shooting.  Those performances were put also together without Atlantic Coast Conference Defensive Player of the Year Chris Singleton playing at his best after returning from foot surgery he underwent back in February.

Singleton is Florida State’s leading scorer and rebounder and has been a shell of himself in his first two games back.  He played just 10 minutes in a 71-57 win over the Fighting Irish last Sunday in the third round, going scoreless with two rebounds and three fouls.  In the second round, he totaled five points and two boards in 16 minutes of action.  However, FSU head coach Leonard Hamilton believes his star player is almost healthy enough to make a positive impact.

“He’s getting closer to kind of looking like his old self,” Hamilton said.  “I think it’s just taking him a week or so just to gain his confidence back, starting and stopping and changing direction, things of that nature.  So I want him being a little bit more involved in this game than he was the other games because I think he’s feeling more comfortable.”

The Seminoles have covered the spread in their last five games with the UNDER cashing in each of the past four.  Five of their last six opponents have scored 62 points or less, and their past three have averaged just 53 per game.

VCU has proven it can play at any tempo in its first three games but has preferred to run in the last two after given the opportunity.  The team jumped out to a 35-24 halftime lead on #6 Georgetown in the second round en route to a 74-56 victory and then pounced early again on #3 Purdue last Sunday in a 94-76 third-round win.

The Rams have won five of their last six games overall, including four as underdogs.  The only loss during that stretch came against Old Dominion in the Colonial Athletic Association tournament championship game, 70-65.  They have seen a lot of low-scoring games recently as well, with the UNDER going 7-3 in their past 10.

Now that you have read this NCAA tournament college basketball betting preview featuring Florida State & VCU, check out the NCAA basketball odds on this and all the games to compare the best lines at multiple sportsbooks.

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