(10) Florida State vs. (11) Virginia Commonwealth
Senior NBA Writer & College Basketball Editor
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(10) Florida State Seminoles
In a surprisingly one-sided affair, the Florida State Seminoles upset the Notre Dame Fighting Irish 71-57. The Fighting Irish really struggled against the Seminoles’ defense, settling for 30 three pointers while only making seven. They weren’t much better from the field, only making 30% of their attempts. The most impressive part of the Seminoles’ run to the Sweet 16 is that they’ve gotten there while getting more fouls than points from their best player Chris Singleton. Four players scored in double-figures for the Seminoles with Bernard James’ 14 points leading the way. As a team they shot 9-19 from distance. Now they’ll have a few days off, which will allow Singleton’s ailing foot to get some rest before a Sweet 16 contest against the Virginia Commonwealth Rams. The Rams rolled through the Purdue Boilermakers in the Round of 32, having no problems whatsoever scoring against their defense. Of course the Seminoles are much better in that area, but the Rams are clicking on all cylinders and will not be easy to stop. The Seminoles will need to be on offensively if they’re going to advance to the Elite Eight.
(11) Virginia Commonwealth Rams
It was already clear that the Virginia Commonwealth Rams belonged in the tournament, but after easily handling the Purdue Boilermakers 94-76 they proved that they’re capable of competing with absolutely anybody. Unfazed in their second-straight match up against a high-major program, the Rams had their way offensively with the Boilermakers. Six different players scored in double figures, with Bradford Burgess scoring a team-high 23. Purdue center JaJuan Johnson had a big outing with 25 points, 14 rebounds and three assists, but E’Twaun Moore was held to just 10 points on 5-15 shooting field. There’s no telling how ugly this game could have gotten had it not been for Purdue’s Ryne Smith scoring a career-high 20 points. The Seminoles will be tougher to score against, but as long as the Rams continue to get a balanced effort offensively they stand a nice chance to upset a bigger program for the third-consecutive game.
HOOPSWORLD’s Pick: Florida State. As great as the Rams looked on Sunday, it’s too hard to pick against the Seminoles when they have several days to prepare for their Sweet 16 match up against them.