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Florida State To Right Ship In Tournament Against UNC Greensboro

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The Round of 64 features Florida State (#3) vs UNC Greensboro (#14), which gives the Seminoles a chance to right the ship after some disappointing results.

The East Round 1 matchup pits the 16-6 Seminoles against the 21-8 UNC Greensboro Spartans on Saturday, March 20, with the winner progressing to face the winner of Colorado vs Georgetown.

Scottie Barnes of the Florida State Seminoles dunks the ball during the semifinals game against the North Carolina Tar Heels
Tilton/Getty Images/AFP

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Seminoles Hoping To Regain Confidence

There are no second chances in the Men’s Basketball Championship, so Florida State can’t afford a slip-up.

With three losses from its last five games, the Seminoles are hoping to regain their confidence against UNC Greensboro. The losses came against North Carolina, Notre Dame and Georgia Tech, with the most recent coming in the ACC Tournament Final.

They were particularly bad against Georgia Tech, committing 25 turnovers and despite shooting at 56 percent, they couldn’t overcome a one point halftime deficit.

Keeping turnovers at a minimum will be needed against UNC Greensboro, which is riding a four-game winning streak. If the Seminoles continue to be loose with the ball, it doesn’t matter how easy the opposition is, it will be a struggle to win in March.

UNC Greensboro Deserving Tournament Spot

The Spartans got into the tournament via a SoCon Championship win over Mercer. The 69-61 win was an excellent performance for the 21-8 team, which has been relatively consistent this season.

UNC Greensboro lost three consecutive games to fall to 1-3, but it hasn’t lost back-to-back games since. A consistent team is always tough to beat in the tournament, regardless of the level of opposition.

The strength of the schedule is a massive concern for the Spartans. They haven’t played a ranked team all season and the level of opposition has been poor, but we have seen bigger upsets happen during March Madness.

They are deserving of their spot in the final 64 and one reason is Isaiah Miller. The senior guard is averaging 19.3 points per game on 46.6 percent shooting. He has scored over 20 points in his last five games, including 32 points against East Tennessee State last month.

Miller is the key player for UNC Greensboro, so if he has a big game, he could score enough points to cause Florida State some problems.

Is Florida State Overrated?

Florida State was considered one of the best teams by some critics, but it hasn’t lived up to the hype.

Since beating Miami to improve to 14-3, Florida State has dropped three of its last five games. The Seminoles have suffered some poor losses throughout the season, including against UCF, Clemson, and North Carolina, and an unforgivable loss to Notre Dame earlier this month.

We’re not overlooking the quality wins they have scored. The Seminoles defeated Virginia and Clemson, but given their recent form, those wins don’t hold as much merit.

To shed the overrated tag, Florida State needs to make a statement against UNC Greensboro. Simply winning won’t be good enough and they are heavily-favored to win in college basketball lines.

The Spartans are good enough to test this team, so the pressure will be on this week.

How The Spartans Can Cause An Upset

Most bettors won’t give the Spartans a chance of beating Florida State, but there is a recipe for success.

Force the Seminoles into turnovers and you have a great chance to win. Florida State shoots too well for UNC Greensboro to keep up offensively, so the Spartans should employ a pressure trap defense.

Frustrating the Seminoles is a great way to keep the likes of M.J. Walker under wraps. We expect the Spartans to watch tape from the Georgia Tech game and see exactly how it’s done.

UNC Greensboro vs Florida State Game Pick

Our online sportsbook has the Florida State Seminoles as -11.5-point favorites. That is fair given the respective strength of schedules, but there is value in UNC Greensboro.

The Spartans are good enough to keep this game close and the Seminoles have been anything but impressive over the last few weeks.

We expect a close game on Saturday and although we’re not game enough to suggest taking +475 in the Moneyline market, bettors should entertain the +11.5.

We would also entertain the Under 145. A low-scoring game is expected and although Florida State has a high-powered offense at times, we haven’t seen it on a consistent basis.

Pick: Florida State 72, UNC Greensboro 66

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