Spread: VT by 1.5 (wow, wasn’t expecting that — clearly Vegas doesn’t think Singleton is playing).
The Hokies kept themselves firmly on the bubble Thursday by beating georgia tech, now they have a chance to punch their ticket to the Big Dance with a win over florida state. A loss means a lot of anxiety between now and Sunday evening.
The big question is: will Chris Singleton play? fsu’s lone star (he’s to the noles what Toney Douglas was two years ago) has been out since February 12th when he suffered a foot stress fracture against uva. He’s been shooting and warming up lately before games. Personally, I don’t think he’ll play. I think they’ll save him for the NCAA Tournament next week (they have a bid locked up) to protect his future and give him more time to heal.
Even if Singleton cannot play, don’t think this game will be a walkover. The noles have been playing surprisingly well since their franchise man went down. They beat uva despite the fact Chris went down early in the game while fsu was behind, and they’ve won three of five since. One of those losses was to unc (yes, the unc that has won 12 of 13) where fsu led with under 10 seconds left before Harrison Barnes hit a 3-pointer to win it for the heels. So these guys can still play… though I’m not sure how. And to be fair, five of the six teams they played without Singleton (including uva) had losing ACC records. Friday will be a test for the noles, who won’t have the hunger VT should have.
Note that teams playing on consecutive days tend to have an advantage early in games since they tend to be in the flow more quickly. All you have to do is look at Tech’s record on short turnarounds (6-1) in ACC regular season games to see that. Or look at the Big East marathon ( I mean Tournament) — there have been tons of upsets where teams that played the previous day upset a higher seed that was resting. That will be key to Tech to jump up early.
HO-KEYS TO WINNING:
- 3-Pt%: In VT’s last 15 games, the team that shot a higher percentage from behind the arc won. (Though in the first meeting between these clubs, VT was just 1/8 from deep — FTs won them that game).
- Transition: fsu plays great defense. That’s how they win with or without Singleton. They aren’t going to drop 80 or 90 on you. So the Hokies have to find ways to get easy buckets. Push the ball like they did against georgia tech and attack the rim, Green and Delaney.
- Protect the ball: The noles need turnovers to fuel their offense. They are good in transition. The Hokies need to make smart passes, and avoid giving up a lot of steals (fsu is #2 in the league in steals).
- Urgency: Tech needs to play like they did Thursday, or like they did against duke — like they were playing for a NCAA Tournament bid. In many ways, they are. Win Friday and I feel they are a lock. Lose, and again, they are the mercy of the Committee, which hasn’t worked out too well the last 3 years.
- Battle Inside: The noles aren’t a team that’s going to bomb you out of the gym from deep (8th in the league in 3s made per game). They want to penetrate. VT has to work hard to cut off noles on the dribble, while being smart and not fouling, then box out and deny fsu second chance opportunities.
- All-time: fsu 25-18
- In ACC Play: fsu 6-3
Jeff Allen scored 24 and snagged 11 boards on his way to ACC Player of the Week honors. VT hit 34/37 free throws to fuel the win. Chris Singleton had 22 points and 8 rebounds for fsu.
|Position||Virginia Tech||florida state|
|Guard||11 Green – 6-4||22 Kitchen – 6-4|
|Guard||23 Delaney – 6-3||21 Snaer – 6-5|
|Wing/Guard||1 Bell – 6-7||4 Dulkys – 6-5|
|Forward||0 Allen – 6-7||10 White* – 6-8|
|Forward||14 Davila – 6-8||5 James – 6-10|
*Singleton would play for White if he plays.
|PPG||70.2 (4)||68.2 (7)|
|Pts Against||66.1 (5)||65.2 (4)|
|FG %||44% (2)||44% (3)|
|3-Pt %||36% (4)||34% (7)|
|FT %||74% (3)||68% (10)|
|Scorer||Delaney 18.3||Singleton 13.8, Kitchen 10.1|
|Rebounder||Allen 10.0||Singleton 7.1, James 5.6|
|Assists||Delaney 4.3||Kitchen 3.6|
|Steals||Green 1.9||Singleton 2.1, Kitchen 1.8|
|Blocks||Bell 1.1||James 2.3|
*Team stats are from ACC games only (and ACC rank), player stats are for all games.
# Since my thought is Singleton won’t play, I’ve listed their second leading ‘whatever’.
BORING FACTS ABOUT fsu:
- f-l-o-r-i-d-a s-t-a-t-e! florida state, florida state, florida state… WOOOOO! [Sorry, but guys should not be yelling ‘Woooo’ at the end of your school cheer]
- Established in 1851
- 31,000 undergrads, 8,500 post-grads
- Was an all women’s school from 1906 to 1947 when it became coed. Lee Corso (ESPN Gameday personality) joked that when he went on his recruiting visit to the florida gators, he barely saw any women, but when he went to fsu, he barely saw any men… he went to fsu.
- Burt Reynolds went to fsu.
- Jim Morrison attended fsu for a stretch and got arrested for a prank after a football game.
- Richard Simmons went to fsu (chuckle)
- Ted Bundy killed two fsu Chi Omegans during his serial killing spree back in the late ’70s.
- fsu has 2 titles in football (as Hokies know all too well) and 3 title game appearances in the College World Series, but lost all 3.
- 2 Heismans – Charlie Ward and Chris Weinke
- florida state is the only school VT hasn’t beaten on the road in football OR basketball. 0-1 in pigskin, 0-4 in hoops.