NCAA Monday Night Basketball: Virginia/Florida State Preview

by Alec McMordie

The Big Monday college basketball showdown on ESPN features two top-twenty teams representing the ACC.

Virginia won their fourth straight on Saturday in a 60-48 win against North Carolina. The Cavaliers went on an early 21-2 run to cruise to the victory. Jay Huff led the way with 18 points while adding 12 rebounds. Huff is second on the team with a 13.4 points-per-game scoring average. Sam Hauser leads the team with a 15.1 points-per-game scoring average, and he rebounds 7.1 rebounds-per-game.

Virginia ranks ninth in the Associated Press poll with a 15-3 record. Their 11-1 mark leads the Atlantic Coast Conference. The Cavaliers hold conference foes to 57.5 points-per-game, the lowest in the ACC. Opponents are making 30.0% of their shots inside the arc. Virginia ranks 12th nationally in adjusted offensive efficiency at kenpom. They make 39.9% of their 3-pointers, sixth nationally, contributing to their effective field goal percentage of 57.5%, fifth-best in the nation. The Cavaliers rank 11th in adjusted defensive efficiency at kenpom. They hold their opponents to rebounding only 22.1% of their missed shots, ranking 14th nationally.

Virginia’s three losses are against San Francisco and Gonzaga in non-conference play and Virginia Tech in the ACC. However, the Cavaliers’ most impressive victory was on Saturday against a Tar Heels’ team that ranks 43rd at kenpom. Facing the Seminoles offers head coach Tony Bennett’s team the opportunity to register their highest-profile win.

Florida State won their sixth game in their last seven contests on Saturday in a 92-85 win in overtime against Wake Forest. The Seminoles had not played since January 30th after three of their games got postponed due to COVID issues. Head coach Leonard Hamilton has seen his team win eleven straight games that went into overtime to tie an NCAA record.

Scottie Barnes scored 24 points with 12 rebounds. His 11.1 points-per-game scoring average is second-best for Florida State. The junior leads the team with a 6.6 rebounds-per-game average. Scottie Barnes forced overtime with a reverse layup en route to his 13 points. His 10.5 points-per-game scoring average is third-best. M.J. Walker leads the Seminoles with a 13.7 points-per-game scoring average.

Florida State is 17th in the AP poll with an 11-3 record, and they are second in the conference with a 7-2 mark. Their three losses are against Georgia Tech and Clemson, with a non-conference loss to Central Florida. The Seminoles have impressive non-conference victories against Florida and Indiana.

Florida State ranks 15th nationally in adjusted offensive efficiency at kenpom. They are tenth with an offensive rebounding rate of 38.5%, and they are making 38.7% of their 3-pointers, 15th nationally. The Seminoles lead the ACC with an 80.4 points-per-game scoring average. Their 50.2% field goal percentage and 41.8% shooting mark beyond the arc also lead the conference. Florida State ranks 47th nationally in adjusted defensive efficiency. They top the ACC by holding their opponents to 46.3% shooting inside the arc.

The Seminoles are 10-1 at home this season. Their victory against Wake Forest was their 23rd straight win at home in conference play, the second-longest in league history. BetAnySports lists Florida State as a 1.5-point favorite with the total set at 128.5. The ESPN broadcast starts at 7 PM ET.

All photographic images used for editorial content have been licensed from the Associated Press.

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