No. 3 FSU vs. No. 14 Florida Gulf Coast Prediction, Game Preview

    FSU vs. Florida Gulf Coast prediction and game preview, as the No. 3 Seminoles and No. 14 Eagles face off in the NCAA Tournament.

    March 13, 2017

    FSU vs. Florida Gulf Coast prediction and game preview, as the No. 3 Seminoles and No. 14 Eagles face off in the NCAA Tournament.


    The Atlantic Coast meets the Atlantic Sun in this first-round matchup between in-state schools Florida State and Florida Gulf Coast. The Seminoles have proven all season to be primed and ready to break out in March, while the Eagles have brought back Dunk City to Fort Myers. Here is a preview of the matchup.

    FSU vs. Florida Gulf Coast Game Preview

    Date: Thursday, March 16
    Venue:  Amway Center, Orlando, FL
    Region: 
    West

    FSU Strengths

    The Seminoles, who had a memorable 5-1 mark during a six-game stretch against ranked teams, have a ton of athleticism, length and depth. The ‘Noles can go 12 deep and not miss a beat, led by star 6-foot-7 sophomore guard Dwayne Bacon and 6-foot-10 freshman forward Jonathan Isaac. This isn’t your typical Leonard Hamilton-coached defensive squad, but it’s a team that can get up and down the court and score.

    FSU Weaknesses

    FSU is tied for 12th in the ACC in free throw percentage at 68.9 percent. If the ‘Noles have an off night from the floor, points at the charity stripe will be vital. We have seen NCAA Tournament dreams crash and burn at the free throw line, so Hamilton has to hope that his team doesn’t struggle from the line in a close game down the stretch.

    Florida State Seminoles In-Depth Analysis

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    Florida Gulf Coast Strengths

    The Eagles are going to the NCAA Tournament for the second straight year. FGCU, which built a reputation during its 2013 run through the Big Dance on high-flying dunks, is up to its old tricks again. UCF transfer Brandon Goodwin leads the team is scoring at 18.2 points per game, while Zach Johnson and Christian Terrell are also talented guards. Demetris Morant and Marc-Eddy Norelia provide extra athleticism as well as length, while Rayjon Tucker is one of the most fun players in the country to watch when he attacks the rim.

    Florida Gulf Coast Weaknesses

    FGCU isn’t playing the same type of up-tempo game that college basketball fans saw when it made its NCAA run. In fact, Joe Dooley’s squad plays a slower-paced game. That’s not a bad thing, but the team’s 3-point shooting could be a detriment. While they are good on the offensive boards and love to drive to the lane, the Eagles could be in trouble if their long-range shots aren’t going down.

    FGCU Eagles In-Depth Analysis

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    FSU vs. Florida Gulf Coast By The Numbers

    FSU Statistics

    • Scoring Margin – 11.8 (16th Nationally)
    • Rebound Margin – 2.7 (99)
    • TO Margin – 2.8 (27)
    • 3PT FG – 36.1% (129)

    Florida Gulf Coast Statistics

    • Scoring Margin – 10.6 (27)
    • Rebound Margin – 6.2 (25)
    • TO Margin – .5 (151)
    • 3PT FG – 35.0% (173)

    FSU vs. Florida Gulf Coast Prediction

    The Eagles will relish this opportunity to take on the big, bad Seminoles, and they will come out with all the confidence in the world. If this was another FSU team, they could pull the upset, but this team is battle-tested and could go a long way in this tournament. Seminoles pull it out with a big margin.

    FSU vs. Florida Gulf Coast Score Prediction: FSU 89, Florida Gulf Coast 71

    MORE: Complete NCAA Tournament Bracket, Previews, Predictions

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