NCAA Tournament Second Round Xavier vs. Florida State: Preview and Prediction

Xavier-Florida State Preview!

Nashville: Xavier will face the Florida State Seminoles on Sunday night around 7:30 on TNT. Xavier holds the all-time series lead 2-0 with the last game coming in the 2017 NCAA Tournament round of 32 where Xavier dismantled Florida State 91-66. Xavier will look to carry the momentum of J.P. Macura and Trevon Bluiett who both well over twenty points each in the huge 102-83 victory over Texas Southern on Friday night.

Quick hitters on Florida State (21-11, 9-9)

Location: Tallahassee, Florida

Enrollment: 41,867

Head Coach:

Leonard Hamilton – 16 seasons at FSU. All-time winningest coach in Seminole history (303-207)

Florida advanced to the Round of 32 after defeating the Missouri Tigers 67-54.

Keys to the game for Xavier:

  1. Control the boards
  2. Play Xavier basketball
  3. Limit FSU on second-chance opportunities

Chris Mack on the game:

“Sure. I mean, we’ll always feel
fortunate any time we can advance in the NCAA
tournament. Now there are 32 teams. Probably less
now, 30 teams left to win a national championship.
And we play a very talented, together, hard-playing
group in Florida State tomorrow.

“We’re going to have to be at our best, certainly have to
take care of the basketball. And keep them off the
glass. If we do that, hopefully, we can figure out a way to win”

In preparation for this year’s matchup with FSU:

“Good question. From the defensive
end, I would say it’s very similar because of their style
of play. It’s personnel driven when you start to talk the
offensive side of the game.

“To me, Florida State is a more together team. You
know, I don’t want to say it’s equal opportunity, but you
have three guys averaging around 12 to 13, 14 a
game. You have three guys that are almost at ten a
game.

“You know, you have their 4-man using ball screens just
as much as their point guard. So I see a team that
plays for one another, that plays together. I think it’s a
much better sum of its parts team than maybe a year
ago.

“That’s no disrespect to the guys that were on the team
a year ago, but that’s sort of what happens when guys
start to climb up the draft boards and they feel like
they’re auditioning in March a little bit.

“So we just have to worry about keeping those guys, as
best we can, out of the lane and off the glass and then
handling ball pressure that we’re going to see tomorrow”

This matchup on Sunday will be one of great interest for Xavier fans as they await punching a ticket to the Sweet 16 in LA.

Prediction:

Xavier 90-FSU 80

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