No. 4 Florida vs. No. 13 East Tennessee State Prediction, Preview

    Florida vs. East Tennessee State prediction and game preview, as the No. 4 Gators and No. 13 Buccaneers face off in the NCAA Tournament.

    March 13, 2017

    Florida vs. East Tennessee State prediction and game preview, as the No. 4 Gators and No. 13 Buccaneers face off in the NCAA Tournament.

    In his second season as head coach at Florida, Mike White has led the Gators to the 2016-17 NCAA Tournament.

    They’ll look to make a deep run into the tourney for the first time in his tenure, as No. 4-ranked Florida will go toe-to-toe with the No. 13-ranked East Tennessee State Buccaneers.

    Below is a complete preview and prediction for Florida vs. East Tennessee State.

    Florida vs. East Tennessee State Game Preview

    Date: March 16, 2017
    Venue:  Amway Center, Orlando, Florida

    Florida Strengths

    The backcourt is immediately recognized as a strength for the Gators. Kasey Hill may not be a prolific perimeter shooter, but he and Chris Chiozza are dynamic ball handlers, can create penetration and ignite transition buckets with their abilities to run the fast break. With KeVaughn Allen emerging as a go-to scorer and knockdown shooter, Florida will go as far as its backcourt will take it.

    Florida Weaknesses

    The biggest weakness for the Gators has to be their lack of an interior presence. John Egbunu being injured took away their man in the middle, as he was their leading rebounder and second-leading shot blocker. Florida will have to rely on Schuyler Rimmer, Gorjok Gak and Kevarrius Hayes to shut down the paint.

    Florida Gators In-Depth Analysis

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    East Tennessee State Strengths

    Steve Forbes and the Buccaneers are led by T.J. Cromer, the 6-foot-3 senior guard who is averaging 19.0 points, 2.8 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game. He has six games of 25-or-more points, including 41 in the Southern semis in which he had nine 3s. He’s shooting 40.7 percent from downtown. The team’s scoring depth is its biggest strength, as Desonta Bradford, Tevin Glass, A.J. Merriweather and Indiana transfer Hanner Mosquera-Perea all average at least eight points per game.

    East Tennessee State Weaknesses

    The Bucs have a very good shooting team, but the major concern is that they are one of the country’s sloppiest squads, prone to a lot of turnovers. That’s a recipe for disaster in the tournament, especially when it comes to a mid or low major trying to spring an upset over a superior opponent.

    ETSU Buccaneers In-Depth Analysis

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    Florida vs. East Tennessee State By The Numbers

    Florida Statistics

    Scoring Margin: 12.4 (13)
    Rebounding Margin: 2.0 (117)
    Turnover Margin: 3.2 (20)
    3-Point FG Percentage: 36.6% (109)

    East Tennessee State Statistics

    Scoring Margin:  10.6 (28)
    Rebounding Margin: 4.4 (51)
    Turnover Margin: 0.8 (130)
    3-Point FG Percentage: 38.3% (44)

    Florida vs. East Tennessee State Prediction

    Florida plays great team defense and does an excellent job of converting turnovers into easy points in transition. With Kasey Hill leading the break and coming up with key steals, the Gators will suffocate the Buccaneers on the offensensive end of the floor, and Florida will advance with a double-digit victory.

    Florida vs. East Tennessee State Score Prediction: Florida 84, East Tennessee State 67

    MORE: Complete NCAA Tournament Bracket, Previews, Predictions


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