Wednesday evening on the college hardwood and a pair of teams from the Atlantic Coast Conference will square off as the 12th-ranked Clemson Tigers invade Donald L. Tucker Center in Tallahassee, Florida to grapple with the Florida State Seminoles. The Tigers enter off a 72-48 home win over Pittsburgh to improve to 9-3 in league play, while the Seminoles have dropped to 6-7 within the ACC after falling to Notre Dame on the road by a score of 84-69.
Tigers Thrash The Panthers At Home
The Clemson Tigers have been one of the surprise teams in the ACC this year as they are now at 9-3 in league play after crushing the Pittsburgh Panthers at home by a score of 72-48 on Thursday night. The Tigers have now won their last four games in a row and are in 2nd place in the ACC, behind the Virginia Cavaliers. This team is well on their way to a date in the NCAA Tournament. The Tigers have been led by their defense, which is one of the best in the league and that defense stood tall against the Panthers’ popgun attack as they held them to just 48 points on 39.1% shooting from the field overall, including just 33.3% shooting from long range. They will face a much tougher test in this one and the Seminoles have been very good on offense this year. The offense for the Tigers has been decent this year and it has a good shot at doing damage against a rather weak Florida State defense. The Tigers put up 72 points in their win over the anthers and they did so on 45.8% shooting from the field overall, including 44.4% shooting from long range, plus they committed just eight turnovers while forcing 14. Leading their attack in the game was Gabe DeVoe, who had 25 points, while Shelton Mitchell (12.0 ppg) had 12 and Elijah Thomas (10.3 ppg) chipped in with 10 and also grabbed 11 boards. The Tigers have averaged 71.5 ppg and have allowed 67.7 ppg within the ACC this year.
Clemson has been decent on offense so far as they enter this contest ranked 145th in the nation in scoring, putting up 75.0 ppg, while also ranking 80th in shooting (46.6%), 50th in 3-point shooting (38.2%) and 48th in free throw shooting (75.4%). At the defensive end of the court, they have been very good so far as they enter this contest ranked 24th in the nation in points allowed, giving up 65.1 ppg, while also ranking 44th in defensive FG% (41.1%) and 203rd in 3-point defense (35.1%).
Noles Can’t Slow Down the Notre Dame Offense
The Florida State Seminoles have struggled of late as they come into this game having lost three of their last four games. This is a team that loves to get up and down the court and they really sacrifice defense just to put as many points on the board and that has really been evident in league play so far as the have averaged 80.8 ppg and have allowed 80.9 ppg within the ACC this year. They come in off an 84-69 loss to the Irish and they struggled at both ends of the court in that game. The defense really struggled to slow down a Notre Dame offense that has been hit hard by injuries this year as they allowed them to hit 49.1% of their shots from the field overall, including 38.5% of their shots from long range. They hope to have better results on defense in this one or it could be a log game for them as have struggled on offense in their last two games and will be taking on a very good defensive team in this one. The Noles hit just 40.6% of their shots from the field against the Irish, including just 34.6% of their shots from long range. They must shoot far better than that in this one. Leading their attack in the game was CJ Walker (9.5 ppg), who had 16, while Phil Cofer (13.2 ppg) had 12 and PJ Savoy (5.2 ppg) chipped in with 11.
The Seminoles have very good on offense so far as they come into this game ranked 27th in the nation in scoring, putting up 82.9 ppg, while also ranking 58th in shooting (47.1%), 117th in 3-point shooting (36.2%) and 261st in free throw shooting (68.9%). At the defensive end of the court, they have been below average as they have allowed 73.2 ppg, which is 200th in the nation, while also ranking 46th in defensive FG% (41.1%) and 119th in 3-point defense (33.7%).
- 4-1 ATS in their last five games following a straight up win of more than 20 points
Florida State is:
- 1-3-2 ATS in their last six home games vs. a team with a road winning % of greater than .600
- 1-4-2 ATS in their last seven home games vs. a team with a winning road record
The Florida State Seminoles have been struggling of late, while the Clemson Tigers have been trending the other way. The Noles have a good offense, but they have scored just 124 points in their last two games combined and will now be facing a very good Clemson defense. Can they score enough in this game to win it? I’m not sure they can. The Tigers are a decent offensive team and they shoot the ball really well, which should allow them to have a very good showing against an FSU defense that has allowed 80.9 ppg in league play so far. I look for the Tigers to take this one and the clincher is the fact that the underdog is 6-2-1 the last nine game in this series.
Pick: Clemson +2.5
The Seminoles come in struggling on offense, while the Tigers have not been an offensive machine this year. The Noles have really struggled to stop teams from scoring this year, especially in league play as they have allowed 80.9 ppg in their ACC games and I feel that their defense will be very key in getting this game to go Over the total. The Tigers have been strong on defense, but the Noles have averaged 80.6 ppg in league play and 88.2 ppg at home, so I feel they will get their fair share of points in this one. Take the Over, especially since the Over is 4-1 the last five games in this series.