College Basketball Pick
At one point, Florida State looked like a team headed to the NCAA Tournament, sporting a solid 6-5 record in ACC play and didn’t have too bad of an upcoming Schedule. However, the Seminoles have fallen apart, now losing Four straight with this Game remaining followed by Notre Dame and Syracuse.
Duke has been playing almost the opposite as of late, winning five of its last six Games. The Blue Devils fell at Louisville on Saturday, mostly due to only having six players (Matt Jones injured) and Grayson Allen fouling out with roughly Four minutes to go. Jones is expected to play in this Game with a sprained ankle, as is Derryck Thornton.
Florida State will either put in a last-ditched effort for its Tourney run or the downfall will continue. The Seminoles have lost their last two road Games by double digits, 10 points at Virginia Tech and 13 at Syracuse. They have given up at least 80 points in three of their last Four losses and that’s going to be the main issue in this matchup.
Duke is one of the highest scoring teams in the nation with two guys that can Scorealmost easily on any defense. Grayson Allen is in consideration for ACC player of the year and he’s had 52 points over the last two Games. FSU just let Seth Allen, a similar, but shorter guard than Grayson, go for 23 points last Game. In addition to Grayson Allen, who’ll likely play 40 minutes, Brandon Ingram should be in for a comeback Game. He struggled against Louisville, scoring eight points to go with 10 turnovers. That came a Game after dropping 45 points and 17 boards in the prior two combined.
Florida State has a bit of size and will likely use the 6-8 Montay Brandon on Ingram. Brandon starts, but he’s become a complete non-factor for this team offensively in his senior season. The scoring will come down to Four guys for the ‘Noles with Mailk Beasley and Dwayne Bacon leading the way. The two freshmen combine for 31.9 points per Game and will need to reach those averages for FSU to have a shot. Because of minimal depth for Duke, expect them to turn to zone a good portion of the time, which means the Seminoles will need to hit their shots. The problem is that none of their players shoot better than 40% from deep, and Bacon is at just 28.3% from 3. If they aren’t hitting those shots, this could be a long Game.
On the other end, for Duke to cover, it’ll likely require someone like LUke Kennard to hit a few more shots than usual. Ingram and Allen carry this team, but the help outside of those two is always an unknown. Kennard is either feeling it, or he’s not. But with the way Florida State has been playing defense, this may be a Game where he’s feeling it. Despite their depth issues, the Blue Devils should be fine in this Game, unless the Seminoles play like their season is on the line, which it is.
Predicted Score- Duke 94 Florida State 75