NCAA Tournament: Michigan vs. Florida State fearless prediction and game preview.
Date: Saturday, March 24
Game Time: 8:49 pm ET
Venue: Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA
All You Really Need To Know About Michigan
The three-seed didn’t really show up in a clunker of a 61-52 loss to a bad Northwestern team back on February 6th. Even since then, this might just be have been the best team in college basketball,
The Wolverines have rolled to 12 straight wins, including a Big Ten championship and three solid performances in the NCAA Tournament. It’s winning on defense, it’s winning by cranking up the offense when it has to, and it’s winning by playing like a team with supreme confidence.
They never let Texas A&M breathe, getting up 52-28 in the first half and coasting from there, nailing a ridiculous 14-of-24 from three, shooting 62% from the field, and playing great D from the outside.
Usually, Michigan wins with a nasty defense and by not turning the ball over, but it gave it up 14 times against the Aggies, and it didn’t matter. Best of all, the team is hitting its free throws – a massive problem throughout the season. The other issue this year was on the boards, and it was the only bad part about the win over A&M – it allowed 12 offensive rebounds.
All You Really Need To Know About Florida State
Yeah, yeah, yeah, Loyola has been a great story, and Kansas State has been a ton of fun, but is there anyone more surprising than Florida State? This run came from out of nowhere, losing three of their last four games going into the tournament. And then a funny thing happened …
The defense showed up.
Missouri is more talented than the Seminoles, and yet it couldn’t seem to do anything right in a first round blowout loss.
Xavier was a No. 1 seed, and yet FSU played like the team with far more confidence and poise. And then came the win over a Gonzaga team that many were quietly saying was good enough to get back to the Final Four despite a relatively quiet season. One dominant 75-60 win later, and Florida State is on the doorstep of greatness.
What FSU lacks in star power – at least outside of guard Terance Mann – it makes up for on the bench. This is a deep, deep, deep team that attacks in waves. The Noles were beaten by Gonzaga on the boards, and struggled on the free throw line, but they came up with nine blocks, and pulled away when they needed to.
Great at rebounding, terrific from the field, and with a big interior presence, FSU does just about everything well but hit free throws and defend from three.
What’s Going To Happen
Michigan might have blown Texas A&M out of the gym, but it’ll get to the Final Four with a great defensive performance.
It has the toughness inside to handle the problems against the shot blocking presence, and has the passing ability to come up with just enough easy baskets to get ahead early and stay there. The Wolverines aren’t all that deep, and they’ll have to pace things a wee bit, but they’ll be able to play FSU’s game, only a little bit better.
Fearless Prediction & Line
Michigan 71, Florida State 64
Line: Michigan -4.5, o/u: 143.5
ATS Confidence: 4
5: Watching games by Vegas pool working on fruity drink No. 3
1: Watching game online while doing TPS reports in your cubicle