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The Duke Blue Devils and Florida State Seminoles will battle for the ACC Tournament title when they collide at the Spectrum Center in Charlotte, N.C. on Saturday night. Duke avenged a pair of regular-season losses to North Carolina by surviving a one-point thriller in the semis. Florida State has advanced past Virginia Tech and top-seeded Virginia.
Down go the top seeds
The fourth-seeded Seminoles surprised many with an upset win over top-seeded Virginia. Florida State’s win wasn’t quite as exciting as the game that followed, as the Seminoles used their depth and length to shut down Virginia’s offense in its 69-59 semifinal victory. Duke and Florida State met just once during the ACC regular season, when the Blue Devils broke the hearts of the host Seminoles with a last-second three-pointer on Jan. 12. Cam Reddish hit the game-winner as part of his 23-point performance in that 80-78 win, while ACC scoring leader R.J. Barrett poured in a game-high 32 on 10-of-19 shooting.
— Seminoles Sports Properties (@SeminolesIMG) March 16, 2019
The ‘Noles controlled the game against the Cavaliers from start to finish in winning their sixth in a row and 14th out of 15. Christ Koumadje, a 7’4” center, scored nine points on 3-of-3 shooting and added nine rebounds in 19 minutes. Mfiondu Kabengele, a 6’10” forward who was named the ACC’s Sixth Man of the Year, added 10 points and six rebounds in 16 minutes as the two dominated inside. Senior guard David Nichols (6.5 ppg) led the team in scoring with 14 points on 6-of-8 shooting. The Seminoles out-rebounded Virginia 35 to 20.
Duke will play for its 21st conference title when it takes on Florida State. The Blue Devils, who are seeded third in the tournament, advanced to the final with a thrilling 74-73 win over rival North Carolina. Zion Williamson tipped in his own miss with 30.3 seconds remaining to give Duke a one-point lead and those would be the last points of the game.
Williamson, who was coming off a quarterfinal game in which he scored 29 points on 13-of-13 shooting, was once again the best player on the court on Friday. He scored 31 points on 13-of-19 shooting and added 11 rebounds against the Tar Heels. Barrett, who averaged 23.3 ppg entering Friday, added 15 while also chipping in with eight rebounds and seven assists.
The Duke Blue Devils are:
- 0-3-1 ATS in their last four overall
- 0-3-1 ATS in their last four games against teams with winning records
- 0-3-1 ATS in their last four games against teams with winning percentages over .600
The Florida State Seminoles are:
- 8-1-2 ATS in their last 11 neutral-site games
- 8-3 ATS in their last 11 games following a win
- 6-2 ATS in their last eight games against teams with winning records
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
FSU shot 56.5 percent against Virginia–the top-ranked scoring defense and third-ranked field-goal percentage defense in Division I. This has always been a decent matchup for the ‘Noles and this season appears to be no different. They have the bodies to bang with Williamson and company, plus the Devils are not deep and they were thoroughly exhausted at the end of their semifinal thriller. Duke is 0-3-1 ATS in its last four against the ACC, 1-3-1 ATS in their last five at neutral sites, and 0-7 ATS in its last seven following a win. The Seminoles are 4-0 ATS in the last four meetings between the two teams.
Prediction: Florida State Seminoles
Full-Game Total Pick
The Blue Devils were far from perfect on Friday, however, as they shot just 5-of-20 from long range and made only seven of 13 free-throws. Reddish scored just six points against North Carolina as he spent most of the night on the bench with foul trouble. The under is 5-2 in the Seminoles’ last seven overall, 18-7-1 in their last 26 against winning opponents, and 8-3 in their last 11 at neutral sites. It is also 34-16-2 in the Blue Devils’ last 52 overall, 4-1 in their last five against the ACC, and 6-2-1 in their last nine against winning opponents. Additionally, the under is 18-7-1 in the last 26 meetings between the two teams.