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Cincinnati vs. Florida State Pick
The last NCAA tournament game of the third round will take place in the East Region between the third-seeded Florida State Seminoles and the sixth-seeded Cincinnati Bearcats. Scheduled for a 9:35 p.m. (ET) tip on Sunday night, the Seminoles (24-9) and Bearcats (24-10) each got scares on Friday before moving within another win of the Sweet 16.
Florida State (-2.5) needed to rally back from a nine-point deficit in the second half to beat No. 14 St. Bonaventure 66-63 after trailing 34-28 at halftime while Cincinnati built a huge early lead on No. 11 Texas but blew it before holding on for a 65-59 victory. The Bearcats were up 31-17 at halftime but saw the Longhorns go on a 33-14 run to tie the game at 52-52 with 3:44 remaining.
The Seminoles may have overlooked the Bonnies a bit despite the fact that they were led by Atlantic-10 Player of the Year Andrew Nicholson, who did his best to help them try to pull off the upset with a game-high 20 points and seven rebounds. The 6-foot-9, 240-pound Nicholson hit 4 of 5 shots from 3-point range and will next be appearing in the NBA sometime next year. Florida State was somehow able to win despite leading scorer Michael Snaer missing all seven of his shots from the field and being held without a point for the first time this season.
Cincinnati got a team-high 15 points and 10 rebounds from big man Yancy Gates, who will not be mistaken for a 3-point shooter. The Bearcats as a team did not shoot the ball well from beyond the arc, hitting only 3 of 16 after making just 3 of 14 in a 50-44 loss to Louisville last Saturday in the Big East tournament title game. They had hit 8 of 10 from beyond the arc in the first half alone of a 71-68 upset of top seed Syracuse in the Big East semifinals before making 2 of their next 12 to finish 10 of 22.
Cincy still managed to cover the spread and has gone 7-1 against the number in its last eight games. The Seminoles had covered their previous five games before Friday, and they beat the Bearcats 58-47 on the road in the lone meeting between the schools back in 2008. The OVER is 7-2 in Florida State's last nine games overall and 8-3 in Cincinnati's past 11 NCAA tournament games. Upset - Cinci +2
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