The No. 4 seed Florida State Seminoles will be hosting the No. 5 seed Davidson Wildcats Tuesday in the opening round of the NIT. The Seminole’s bubble burst on Selection Sunday as they were selected into the NIT tournament instead of the NCAA tournament. Florida State has played Davidson once before in 2002, winning at home 82-66. The Seminoles are no stranger to the NIT appearing 10 times overall and three of the last four years. This is Davidson’s seventh appearance and the second appearance in a row.
The Davidson Wildcats (20-12) finished the season as the sixth team in the Atlantic 10. The Wildcats star Jack Gibbs, a hot handed guard averaging 23.7 ppg (5th in NCAA). Though, the Wildcats overall shoot the ball very well averaging 79.2 points per game (42nd in NCAA). The Wildcats take good care of the ball, only averaging 10 turnovers a game (11th in NCAA). However, on the opposite side of the floor is a completely different story as the Wildcats struggle defensively. The Wildcats force very few turnovers only stealing the ball 4.7 times per game (318th in NCAA). The Wildcats have no dominant force in the paint, averaging 3.13 blocks a game as a team (207th in NCAA). Davidson has troubles with allowing their opponents to score allowing 77.9 points per game (308th in NCAA). Rebounding is a challenge for the undersized Wildcats average 35.2 rebounds per game (227 in NCAA). With a spectacular offense that take cares of the basketball, the undoing of Davidson could be caused by the struggles on the defensive end and rebounding the ball.
Florida State (19-13) finished the season as the 11th team in the ACC. The Seminoles boast fab freshman Dwayne Bacon, the team’s leader in scoring averaging 15.6 points per game. The Seminoles offense averages 78.1 points per game (58th in NCAA) and the ball is spread around as three players average over 10 points a game. Though, the Seminoles have a problem with turnovers averaging 13.06 a game (212th in NCAA). The Seminoles excel at forcing turnovers averaging 7.19 steals per game (64th in NCAA). The Seminoles also lack a dominant force in the paint, averaging 4.13 blocks per game (87th in NCAA). The Seminoles defense struggles to find a stop as they allow 73.8 points per game (230th in NCAA). The Seminoles look to take advantage on the boards as center Boris Bojanovsky boasts a six inch height advantage than the tallest player on Davidson, Jake Belford. The Seminoles averages 36.9 rebounds per game (129th in NCAA). Similar statistics with spectacular offenses and unreliable defenses, the Seminoles have to limit the turnovers and win the rebound battle, in order to win the game.
The winner of this game will advance to the second round of the NIT and will play the winner between Valparaiso and Texas Southern.
Tip-off is 7 p.m. tonight and will be broadcast on ESPN2.