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The Virginia Cavaliers and Florida State Seminoles will battle for a spot in the final of the ACC Tournament at the Spectrum Center in Charlotte, N.C. on Friday. Virginia, the No. 1 seed, tipped off its title defense with a victory over N.C. State on Thursday. The fourth-seeded Seminoles also earned a double-bye and won their opener against Virginia Tech.
Survive and advance
Florida State has won five straight, while Virginia has won nine in a row; both teams have won 13 of their last 14. In other words, this could be a great one. They advanced in much different fashions on Thursday, as Florida State hogged all the drama. Senior guard Terance Mann drained an off-balance runner with 1.8 seconds remaining in overtime for a 65-63 win over Virginia Tech. The Seminoles’ reward is a second meeting with Virginia, which prevailed 65-52 at home in the ACC opener on Jan. 5.
Mann’s game-winner was part of a 10-point performance on 5-of-9 shooting, and he also chipped in with nine rebounds and four assists. Freshman guard Devin Vassell was the only other player to reach double-figures in scoring, delivering a team-high 14 off the bench. Vassell nailed a game-tying three-pointer with 4.5 seconds left in regulation to help force overtime against the Hokies. Florida State dominated Virginia Tech on the glass, winning the rebounding battle 43 to 30.
Taking care of business
The Cavaliers, who are the tournament’s top seed and should be the No. 1 overall seed in the upcoming NCAA Tournament, advanced with a 75-56 win over N.C. State in the quarterfinals on Thursday afternoon. Virginia overcame a slow offensive start against the Wolfpack, but senior center Jack Salt sparked the team with his offensive play as the Cavaliers outscored N.C. State by 22 in the second half.
"That's probably the best I've ever seen him play." De'Andre Hunter on Jack Salt. https://t.co/ZqsQ683GpO
— Virginia Men's Basketball (@UVAMensHoops) March 14, 2019
Salt, who entered Thursday averaging 3.6 points per game, poured in a career-high 18 on 7-of-8 shooting and had a couple of highlight-reel plays that sparked the Cavaliers in the second half against the Wolfpack. The Cavaliers made just 10 field goals in the first half and trailed 29-27 at the break before erupting for 49 second-half points on 62.5 percent shooting. Kyle Guy (15.8 ppg) was brilliant with 29 points on 10-of-13 shooting (7-of-9 from the land of plenty), as he and Salt made up for the poor shooting of Ty Jerome (two points on 1-of-11 shooting).
The Virginia Cavaliers are:
- 43-17-1 ATS in their last 61 overall
- 25-10-1 ATS in their last 36 games against the ACC
- 7-3 ATS in their last 10 neutral-site games
The Florida State Seminoles are:
- 5-1 Under in their last six overall
- 17-4 Under in their last 21 games against teams with winning records
- 8-2 Under in their last 10 neutral-site games
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Florida will need to clean up its 17 turnovers if it hopes to put up points against the nation’s top-ranked scoring defense on Friday. Guy scored 21 points in the previous game against Florida State, including 18 in the first half, while Braxton Key added a season-high 20. Jerome should bounce back; after all, he averaged 13.5 ppg during the regular season. Virginia is 4-1 ATS in its last five against opponents with winning records, 5-1 ATS in its last six against opponents with winning percentages over .600, and 38-17-1 ATS in its last 56 following a win.
Prediction: Virginia Cavaliers
Full-Game Total Pick
The Seminoles hit just 38.6 percent of their shots on Thursday. The Cavaliers held the Wolfpack to 3-of-20 beyond the arc. The under is 5-1 in the Seminoles’ last six overall, 17-4 in their last 21 against opponents with winning records, and 8-2 in their last 10 at neutral sites. It is also 18-3 in the Cavaliers’ last 21 against opponents with winning records. Additionally, the under is 20-3 in the last 23 meetings between the two teams. Look for this one to stay under the total.