There’s often a cliche when discussing regular season college basketball games to say a matchup feels like an NCAA tournament game. Maybe two teams feel like they’re playing a competitive 8/9 game in the first round or a high-stakes Final Four matchup.
Well, after Saturday’s top-16 reveal, we can somewhat accurately state that Monday’s Duke-Florida State matchup *might* feel like an Elite Eight game because the Blue Devils were given a No. 2 seed and the Seminoles earned a No. 3 seed, which means that hypothetically, they wouldn’t meet until the Elite Eight at the earliest.
In an ACC in which only five of the 15 teams have a conference record above .500, Duke and Florida State are tied for second at 10-2. This is a game you won’t want to miss.
Florida State at Duke: Time, TV channel
Duke will host Florida State on Monday, Feb. 10 at 7 p.m. ET. The game will be on ESPN and it can be streamed on WatchESPN.
Florida State at Duke: Preview
Duke and Florida State will only meet once in the regular season, making this a critical game for posturing in the ACC standings and potential NCAA tournament seeding.
Duke is 10-2 at home this season with its only losses coming in a surprising upset at the hands of Stephen F. Austin in November and first-place Louisville last month. Florida State is 5-3 on the road, including wins over Louisville and Florida.
Expect a game in which the winning team might score in the 80s because both teams rank in the top 100 nationally in pace on offense.
The Blue Devils are the stronger team on both offense and defense, in terms of efficiency, with the No. 6 offense and No. 11 defense, while the Seminoles rank No. 42 and No. 19, respectively.
Duke excels at making shots inside (54.2% on twos), led by leading scorer Vernon Carey’s 17.8 points per game and 59.3 2-point percentage, and rebounding its misses (35.8% offensive rebounding percentage), while playing a stifling brand of defense that forces opponents into a turnover on roughly 22 percent of their possessions.
That means that this matchup could come down to whichever team can better handle the other’s pressure, because Florida State forces a turnover on almost 25 percent of opponents’ offensive possessions. The Seminoles also lead the country in block percentage, 17.2 percent, thanks to five different players who are nationally ranked in the metric, led by Patrick Williams, who blocks 6.3 percent of opponents’ 2-point attempts.
Guard Devin Vassell leads Florida State in scoring at 13.5 points per game, while his backcourt teammates Trent Forrest (11.3 ppg) and M.J. Walker (10.8 ppg) also average double figures in scoring.