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Clemson at Florida State

2/28/09


The Florida State Seminoles removed themselves as a contender for the ACC regular season championship with a loss at Boston College on Tuesday night. They will try to redeem themselves on Saturday against a red hot Clemson Tigerís team. Ranked #25 in the nation, the Seminoles have worked hard to regain national attention and garner an NCAA Tournament bid. They will need to keep things together down the stretch to keep what has been a great season thus far intact.

You would be hard pressed to kind a team that does a better job pressing than the Clemson Tigers. These guys started the season 16-0, and this program has been exponentially better since coach Oliver Purnell took over. Their record stands at 22-5 overall and 8-5 in the ACC. They are tied with Florida State, and which ever team wins this game could be in line for a coveted first round bye in the ACC Tournament.

Clemson is an excellent play based on their ATS record of 9-3 on the road. The Tigers own wins at Boston College, USC, Miami, Illinois, Virginia Tech, and Georgia Tech. They are truly road warriors. The best win at home for Clemson was a 74-47 annihilation of the Duke Blue Devils, who are currently ranked 7th in the nation. They also stomped a Maryland team that would return to beat #3 North Carolina.

Key players for the Tigers are K.C. Rivers, Terrence Oglesby, and Trevor Booker. Oglesby is averaging 13.6 PPG and is hitting three pointers at 40% clip. He is truly deadly from three point land when he gets hot. If that happens, it could be over for Florida State. Booker is the leading scorer at 15.4 PPG and he also gets 9.4 RPG. Clemson is obviously counting on him for a big game. Rivers is a senior and is getting 14.4 PPG and 6.3 RPG. He is a very imposing player although he stands at just 6-6. These three are one of the best trios in all of college basketball.

Florida State isnít without a few good men of their own. Toney Douglas is a one man show, putting up 20.5 PPG, 2.9 APG, and 4.1 RPG. He has been hot lately, and one of his best games of the year came three back against a very hot Miami Hurricanes team. He put up 24 points in that game. Uche Echefu will go a long way to help Douglas and the Seminoles. He is good for 8.8 PPG and 5.1 RPG. There are a plethora of players who also add to the Seminole effort, but if Douglas has an off night things canít go well for this team.

The Seminoles lack a marquee win, and beating Clemson would give them just that. The best wins for Florida State include victories over Maryland, Miami, Florida, and Cincinnati. If they canít take down the Tigers, Duke will be their last chance at a top tier victory. They have won the games they were supposed to, so that alone will get them into the tournament.

Clemson is exiting an unexpected loss against Virginia Tech, but I think they should recover nicely. They play great on the road, and Florida State hasnít proven that they can beat marquee teams. I think the Tigers will win by 10 points, but should only be about a 1 point favorite. The Clemson Tigers are an excellent bet to beat the Florida State Seminoles.
 

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