NCAA Tournament: Florida State vs. Murray State fearless prediction and game preview.
Date: Saturday, March 23
Game Time: 6:10 ET
Venue: XL Center, Hartford, CT
All You Really Need To Know About Florida State (28-7)
(ACC), NCAA NET Rank: 16. West 4-seed
There was a little drama, and Vermont kept pushing, but Florida State did what it was supposed to do on the boards and the line – nailing 31-of-37 free throws – to get by 76-69. Best of all, the Seminoles were able to get out with a seven-point win despite doing nothing whatsoever from three, hitting just 3-of-12 chance.
This is normally a strong shooting team from beyond the arc, and they did their usual terrific job of forcing mistakes. They have to keep attacking the boards and they have to keep getting plays in transition. This is a team built for a deep, deep run.
All You Really Need To Know About Murray State (28-4)
(Ohio Valley), NCAA NET Rank: 44. West 12-seed
Yeah, that Ja Morant guy can play.
The sure-thing top three overall NBA draft pick elevated his team like a sure-thing top three overall NBA draft pick is supposed to – thanks to his triple-double with 17 points, 15 assists and 11 rebounds in the 83-64 win – but the rest of the Racers showed up, too, especially defensively.
The Racers were fantastic from the outside against Marquette, and the defense that’s fourth in the nation against the three dominated, too. This is a high-scoring team that moves the ball around well, has a strong inside presence, and isn’t going to be intimidated just because it’s going against an ACC team.
No, there wasn’t much to brag about before beating the Golden Eagles, but they were leaking oil down the stretch. Florida State is doing just fine.
What’s Going To Happen
Florida State has the right team to take care of business.
It doesn’t live on the three, is active enough on the boards to beat the Racers by a bunch, and they get active enough defensively to overcome MSU’s amazing passing skills.
Morant is Morant, and he’ll have his moments, but FSU can play some defense, keeping the game in check throughout and not letting the Racers go on a run. It’ll be a grind, but the Seminoles will survive.
Fearless Prediction & Line
Florida State 79, Murray State 73
Line: Florida State -5.5, o/u: 144
ATS Confidence: 3
5: Watching games by Vegas pool working on fruity drink No. 3
1: Watching game online while doing TPS reports in your cubicle