(3) Florida State vs. (6) Cincinnati Preview
Senior NBA & College Basketball Editor
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(3)Florida State Seminoles
Going up against a red hot St. Bonaventure’s team, the Seminoles found themselves on the verge of elimination. The Bonnies picked up where they left off in the Atlantic 10 tournament early on while the Seminoles got nothing from their leading scorer Michael Snaer offensively. He was shutout for the first time in his career, yet his team still found a way to come back and knock off the Bonnies 66-63. Andrew Nicholoson was killing them early on from both inside and out, making several threes in the first half. By the end of the game, though, it was senior Bernard James who had the last laugh. He changed the game in the second period and finished with 19 points, nine rebounds and three blocks. The Seminoles have to feel good about winning without Snaer contributing offensively, something that’s almost guaranteed to not happen again the rest of the season. Against the Bearcats the Seminoles will need Snaer to regain his touch offensively and for James to build off of Friday’s performance. If he can battle Yancy Gates to a standstill inside, the Seminoles have a good chance to go to the Sweet 16.
In the first half of the Bearcats’ second round game against Texas the Longhorns looked like they didn’t belong on the same floor as them. The Bearcats held them to under 20 percent shooting from the floor and led 31-17 after 20 minutes of play. Behind their explosive guard play, though, the Longhorns made a run. The Bearcats didn’t defend them anywhere near as well in the second half, but still managed to get away with a 65-59 victory. Yancy Gates played big for them at the center position, posting up 15 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks. The young Longhorns could not match his size and skill inside the paint. He helped lead the way as the Bearcats outrebounded the Longhorns 37-33 and held to them 35 percent shooting from the field and three point line. The Bearcats are running into a Florida State team in the Round of 32 that can struggle at times offensively as well. A well-balanced scoring effort is critical to the Bearcats’ hopes of getting to the Sweet 16.
HOOPSWORLD’s pick: Cincinnati. While the Bearcats were unconvincing in the second half, their defense overall was impressive enough for us to go with them to get past the Seminoles and move onto the Sweet 16.
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