After beating FGCU, the Seminoles will take on Xavier
Let’s show them who really deserves to be in the Sweet Sixteen
It’s an exciting time for college basketball as the Florida State men passed their first test. Many basketball pundits penciled FGCU in as a possible bracket buster, and FSU made sure to keep the surprise Sweet Sixteen team (from a few years ago) in check.
They relied heavily on the team’s star, Dwayne Bacon, throughout the first half of the game. It seemed like he couldn’t miss a shot. Bacon finished the game with 25 points – by far the highest total on the Seminoles. The win didn’t come without its share of doubt, as Florida Gulf Coast refused to go down without a fight. FGCU’s leading scorer, Brandon Goodwin, finished with 28 points and a hand full of impossible finishes.
Early on in the game it seemed like Florida State would pull away from their in-state competitors, but the Eagles nearly pulled off a victory in the game’s final minutes. They were consistently edging within a few points of spoiling FSU’s precious lead.
State’s most energetic player, Terance Mann, played a huge role in the ‘Noles effort to fend off their opponents in the second half. FSU’s projected lottery pick, Jonathan Isaac, had his typically quiet yet effective line.
He scored 17 points, collected ten rebounds, five assists and a couple big time blocks during their crunch time. Backup center Christ Koumadje, also flourished on the defensive side of thing with 4 blocks. His defense was a big part of the team’s win.
Now the Seminoles can look ahead to another possible Cinderella story in Xavier. Xavier began the season as a top 10 team, but sputtered early in the season due to injuries. Florida State will still have to be conscious on the glass, as Xavier ranks as one of the top 25 teams in terms of rebounding.
Another key for FSU will be limiting their opposing star, Trevon Bluiett. He has averaged 19.7 points in the last month and is the main reason Xavier was considered a contender in the first place. History shows if you can stop Trevon the team won’t be as threatening, so look for FSU Coach Leonard Hamilton to target him on defense. Last year Xavier fell in the round of 32 as Bluiett only scored seven points against Wisconsin.
Will history repeat itself for the Xavier star? ‘Noles fans can only hope so, as one more win would give them a coveted spot in the Sweet Sixteen.The rest of the country will surely realize FSU’s biggest weaknesses lie in their struggles to shoot beyond the arc and from the free throw line.
However, Hamilton will employ his usual form of substitution that keeps FSU at their peak levels of stamina throughout the game. Stamina could end up being the key to this game, as Xavier is known for its relatively small 8 man rotation.