March 8, 2017 Louisville, Ky. (Analyzed Sports)
March Madness: Florida State Prepares for the Madness
March is upon us and the madness is about to begin. But before March gets too mad we have conference tournament to play. And most eyes will be glued to the conference that rules the land, and that conference is the ACC. The ACC is not just the biggest conference in college basketball, or the deepest, but quite possibly the best in the country. The ACC tournament will be held at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. Action gets underway with a trio of first-round games on Tuesday and culminates with Saturday night’s championship. There should be no shortage of great contests. There are as many 6 teams look to clinch top 20 seeds come Selection Sunday.
Florida State are one of those teams that are seeking a top seed. Though FSU is historically a football program, the Seminoles have had major successes on the basketball court. Florida State has made fourteen NCAA tournaments. They appeared in the the Sweet Sixteen on four occasions, the Elite Eight on two occasions, the Final Four on one occasion, and the championship game on one occasion, finishing as runner-up.
The year 2017 has been a breakout year for FSU. This year will include FSU’s first tournament appearance since 2012. The Seminoles (24-7, 12-6) were seeded third in 2012 as well as 1992 and 1993. With a strong performance in the upcoming ACC tournament a number 2 seeding could be at stake. But that’s if FSU can overcome their road woes,the ability to play well outside of Tallahassee may become the nail in coffin for FSU title hopes let alone ACC tourney hopes.
Florida State are 6-7 on the road or neutral on courts, (3-6 on the road in ACC play). They are shooting 42.4 percent in league road games, 51 percent when playing elsewhere. The Noles are one of the better all around basketball teams this year. FSU is a much-improved team on the defensive end, allowing 41.1 percent shooting and 71.2 points per game. Compare that to 44.2 and 74.0 last year, but once again road woes reared its ugly head, nine of its road opponents shot better than 42 percent.
Guard Dwayne Bacon has had no sophomore slump matching his numbers he put up in 2015-2016 season. He leads Florida State in scoring with 16.9 points per game.Bacon is an athletic wing player with a big wing at 6’7″ and 221 pounds frame, who can get dirty down low and create havoc on defense. Athletic freshman power forward Jonathan Isaac leads the team in rebounding and blocked shots, and is the team’s 2nd best three point shooter.
With a super freshman big man like Jonathan Isaac, who plays on the perimeter, the question will be how many teams in the country can guard a player like that? The Seminoles have other scorers who can step and carry their team.Florida State have one of the best scoring units in the country, averaging 83 points per game which ranks ahead of the likes of Kansas (82.7), Purdue (80.8) and Duke (80.5). FSU has the team and one of the best shoots of the second tier teams to make a run at a title. Let’s find out how maddening March will be for the Noles.