College Basketball Pick: Florida State Gulf Coast vs. Florida State
- Updated: March 18, 2014
Date/Time: March 18th, 7:00 ET
College Basketball Odds from WagerWeb
Point Spread: Florida St -12
The National Invitational Tournament kicks off on Tuesday in college basketball betting when the Florida State Seminoles play host to the Florida Gulf Coast Eagles at 7:00 ET on ESPN2 inside the Tucker Center. This will be the first meeting between these two in-state schools.
The Eagles out of the Atlantic Sun Conference found their way into the NIT after suffering a loss in the conference championship game to the Mercer Bears 68-60 on their home floor. Florida Gulf Coast had beaten the East Tennessee State Buccaneers and the Stetson Hatters to reach that game. This team is made up of strong offensive parts that score 72.1 points per game. Leading scorer G Bernard Thompson puts up 15.1 points per game and he gets plenty of help from his running mate G Brett Comer who adds 13.9 points per game. The Eagles are an athletic team that likes to get out and run the fast break and that will be their best way to combat a lack of size on the inside in this game. FGCU doesn’t get to see its name on betting lines very often, but when it did this season it was 1-1 ATS on the road. To have a chance against a bigger Florida State squad, the Eagles will have to defend well and let that lead them to run outs on the offensive end.
The Seminoles had a good showing in the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament before falling 64-51 to the No. 6 ranked Virginia Cavaliers. They did manage to get a 67-65 win over the Maryland Terrapins in the opening round and Virginia went on to take the tournament championship after defeating them. Florida State is led by G Aaron Thomas who scores 14.1 points per game. Thomas had a great showing in the tournament scoring 13 in the loss to Virginia and 14 in the win over Maryland. The Noles are huge on the inside with twin 7-footers Michael Ojo and Boris Bojanovsky that are not athletic big men, but they take up lots of space against smaller teams. Florida State finished as the No. 8 team in the ACC standings with a 19-13 SU record overall. If the Seminoles can keep this to a half-court game with the smaller Eagles they should have no problem dominating on the boards and winning the battles in the paint. They are a strong defensive team that gave up just 65.8 points per game during the season and a good effort will give them a huge advantage in this game.
The Seminoles will be dreading this match-up as the Big three Florida schools always do when they face the smaller in-state teams. The Eagles will have nothing to lose and that leads us to believe they will be very motivated to get a win over the Noles. However, it won’t be enough for them to get the win straight up as Florida State will get the win in a close ballgame behind another big effort from Thomas. Florida State 77 – Florida Gulf Coast 74