NO. 21 FLORIDA STATE (18-7, 9-2 ACC) AT NORTH CAROLINA STATE (18-8, 7-4 ACC)
Time: 1 p.m.
TV: ACC Network, ESPN Full Court
Location: RBC Center in Raleigh, N.C.
Florida State 24 (No. 3 ACC)
North Carolina State 49 (No. 5 ACC)
Line: NC State -1 (135 o/u)
Florida State Players to Watch: F Bernard James, 6-10 Sr. (10.6 ppg, 8.4 rpg, 2.2 bpg, 59.9% FG); G Michael Snaer, 6-5 Jr. (13.8 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 1.2 spg); C Xavier Gibson, 6-11 Sr. (7.5 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 1.5 bpg). Snaer had a miserable shooting night in Thursday’s 48-47 win over Virginia Tech, hitting just 4-of-11 shots and he missed his first three 3-point shots, but he nailed the game-winning shot in the final seconds to give the Seminoles a big ACC victory.
North Carolina State Players to Watch: F C.J. Leslie, 6-8 So. (13 ppg, 6.4 rpg, 50.2% FG); G Lorenzo Brown, 6-5 So. (11.8 ppg, 6.7 apg, 4.2 rpg); G C.J. Williams, 6-5 Sr. (12.2 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 53.1% FG). Brown, who is second in the ACC is assists, had his best scoring output in eight games with 19 points in Thursday’s 78-73 loss at Duke. He also game-high five assists in the defeat.
Storylines: North Carolina State lost a heartbreaker on Thursday. The Wolfpack led at Duke by 16 at halftime, by 20 with under 12 minutes to play and had the lead for nearly 38 minutes before falling 78-73 to the Blue Devils to fall to 7-4 in the ACC. Florida State, on the other hand, trailed Virginia Tech by 13 with just over eight minutes left but won on a Snaer’s 3 with 2.3 seconds left to stay in a first-place tie with Duke and North Carolina in the ACC.
Key Stats: N.C. State is 0-5 against ranked teams this season. Florida State held Virginia Tech to 17-of-52 shooting in Thursday’s win and the Seminoles out-rebounded the Hokies 38-29. N.C. State held Duke to 25-of-69 from the floor Thursday and the Wolfpack out-rebounded the Devils 39-31. FSU is third in the ACC in scoring defense (61.3 points per game allowed) and it leads the league in field goal defense (37.5 percent, 7th nationally). The Wolfpack are second in the conference in 3-point shooting at 36.3 percentage, while the Seminoles are third in 3-point defense (29 percent). The Seminoles are second in the ACC and ninth in the country, blocking six shots per game. N.C. State is second in the conference with a 1.3-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio. The Wolfpack are 12-4 at home this season. FSU is 3-4 in true road games, but it has won three of the last four on the road.
The Bottom Line: Both teams have about 36 hours to recover from Thursday’s crazy games. That usually favors the home team. Expect Florida State’s smothering defense to be a little less smothering due to tired legs, giving the Wolfpack just enough room to take a big win.
The Pick: North Carolina State 61, Florida State 58