This is a very good second round matchup between two teams that have been tested in possibly the top two conferences in the nation. Xavier started out the year in the top 10, but multiple injuries led to this team struggling in the second part of the season. Florida State is one of the most talented teams in the country, but in the second half of the season were inconsistent. Let’s take a look at how these teams matchup.
Xavier keys to victory
Trevon Blueitt is the key to the Muskies attack, if he is on the Muskies are a tough out for anyone. The biggest key for Xavier will be taking care of the ball. In the Musketeers first round win they turned the ball over 15 times if they do this against Florida State it will be a long night for the Musketeers. The Muskies other concern would have to be their ability to rebound the basketball, which reared it’s ugly head earlier in the season when they went down to defeat against cross-town rival Cincinnati. If they can take care of the ball and crash the boards they have an excellent chance to advance to the sweet sixteen.
Florida State Seminoles keys to victory
Florida State is a third seed, with the talent they can put out on the floor they should dominate this game. The Noles crash the boards well, which is something Xavier has not done well. The Noles problems come at the free throw line and three-point shooting. The Noles in their first round win shot an abysmal 2 of 13 from behind the three-point arc, if they do that in this game they will find themselves bounced quickly from this tournament. Another weakness was shown in their first round victory when they shot a terrible 24-39 from the foul line.
Both teams are battle-tested and talented teams, the big key to this game could come at the free throw line where both teams have had problems during the year. At the end of the day I think this will be a close hard fought battle that will be won by Florida State on the boards. Florida State 77 Xavier 74