TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL — No. 5 seed Colorado (23-8) vs. No. 4 seed Florida State (17-6)
The Florida State men's basketball team looks to punch their ticket to their third straight Sweet 16 appearance in the NCAA Tournament, but they have to get by Colorado to get there.
The four seed Seminoles sealed up a spot in the second round match-up with the Buffaloes after a 64-54 win over UNC Greensboro, while Colorado, a five seed, won easily over Georgetown, 96-73. In that win over the Hoyas, Colorado made sixteen three pointers, a Pac-12 record in the tournament.
On the flip side, Florida State didn't make a single three in their win over UNCG, but that's out of character for the Seminoles. They're ranked in the top ten nationally in three point percentage, and head coach Leonard Hamilton expects a battle on Monday night.
"The team that's going to win that comes to closest to being who they are with the most efficiency," he said Sunday. "One system versus another system. Not as much individual players than it is systems that work to be effective."
Florida State is a perfect 16-0 when it holds an opponent to 75 points or fewer. The Seminoles are 1-6 when opponents score more than 75 points. Redshirt junior RaiQuan Gray has been the workhorse for the Seminoles as of late. He scored 17 points in their win over UNCG on Saturday.
Florida State is ranked first among ACC teams with an average of 78.3 points per game.
Colorado’s McKinley Wright IV, Jeriah Horne and D’Shawn Schwartz have collectively accounted for 48 percent of the team’s scoring this season, including 51 percent of all Buffaloes points over the last five games. Wright has either made or assisted on 51 percent of all Colorado field goals over the last three games. The senior guard has 19 field goals and 24 assists in those games.
Colorado's strength is from the charity stripe. They lead the nation at 82% from the free throw line, and after Saturday's performance from long range, those are the two things the Seminoles will need too look for on Monday night.
"We have to defend their threes, we have to make sure we keep them off the foul line and then a lot depends on if we're going to be the best of who we are, and we are still a work in progress."
The game versus Colorado on Monday will be at 7:45 p.m. on TBS.