The Florida State Seminoles (26-8) are the No. 3 seed in the West Region, and will take on No. 11 seed Xavier (22-13). The game will be played at the Amway Center in Orlando on Saturday, March 18.
Preview: Dunk City gave Florida State a heck of a game, but in the end, the Seminoles were too big and too deep for the exciting No. 14 Florida Gulf Coast team. Florida State won 86-80, led by star guard Dwayne Bacon’s 25 points and nine rebounds.
— FSU Basketball (@fsuhoops) March 17, 2017
Xavier was just one of two lower seeds to win on Thursday, knocking off No. 6 seed Maryland 76-65. Trevon Blueitt has been the top Musketeer all year, and he was key once again yesterday, scoring 21 points to lead Xavier to the big Round of 64 win.
Date: Saturday, March 18
Time: 6:10 p.m. ET
TV Channel: TNT
Location: Amway Center in Orlando, FL
Announcers: Ian Eagle, Steve Lavin, Evan Washburn
Opening Betting Line: Florida State -6, via OddsShark
According to College Basketball Reference, this will be just the second meeting between the Seminoles and Musketeers all-time. Xavier won the first match-up, which took place back on February 4, 1958, 76-60. We don’t quite think that the game 59 years ago will have much predictive success on Saturday’s Round of 32 battle.
Florida State is seeking its first Sweet 16 berth since the 2011 NCAA Tournament. The ‘Noles have only made it to the second weekend of the NCAA Tournament five times in program history.
Xavier has been to the Sweet 16 a bit more recently, making it back in 2015. The Musketeers are playing for their eighth trip to the second weekend.
Prediction: Xavier limped to the finish this season, but added a huge win over Butler in the Big East Tournament, and upset the Terrapins on Thursday, so there is a chance that Chris Mack’s team is turning the corner at the perfect time. However, we really like Florida State here. The ‘Noles have one of the deepest rotations in the field, and bona fide stars in Bacon and potential lottery pick Jonathan Isaac, and should advance to face with Arizona-Saint Mary’s winner.