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NCAA Tournament Predictions: East Region 3. Florida State vs. 14. St. Bonaventure

By: Kels Dayton

  Florida State (24-9, 12-4 ACC)- The Seminoles won the ACC championship by defeating North Carolina for a second time this season. FSU torched the Heels in  90-57 in January, and put up 85 in their win on Sunday. Florida State can score, but the main reason this team is so dangerous is its defense. The ‘Noles allowed opponents to shoot just 38.1 percent from the floor this season.

Guard Michael Snaer (AP/ Gary Broome)

Junior guard Michael Snaer has been clutch for the ‘Noles, hitting a game winning shot at Cameron Indoor Stadium to defeat Duke. Snaer averaged 14.4 points and 3.9 rebounds per game this season. Florida State defeated both Duke and North Carolina twice this season. They are an extremely deep team, with size in 6-10 senior forward Bernard James (10.6 ppg, 8.2 rpg) and sharpshooting threats in Ian Miller and Deividas Dulkys.

KEY STATS: 

47th Field Goal Percentage Defense (.381)

124th Points per game (69.9)

52nd Rebounds per game (36.9)

 

Team stats courtesy of www.statsheet.com

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 14 Saint Bonaventure (20-11, 10-6 Atlantic 10)-St. Bonaventure has something not many 14-seeds have: a pro in forward Andrew Nicholson. The 6-9, 240-pound forward has a silky shooting touch to go along with an NBA body and an incredible ability to score.

Andrew Nicholson (AP Photo)

Nicholson averaged 18.2 points per game, and poured in 26 points in the Bonnies’ Atlantic 10 championship game win over Xavier. He also averaged 8.3 rebounds per game this season.

This much is true: Nicholson will be the best player on the floor when St. Bonaventure takes on Florida State in the first round of the tournament. The rest of the Bonnies aren’t just ancillary parts, either. Junior forward Demetrius Conger averaged 12.3 points and 6.1 rebounds per game, and guard Da’Quan Cook adds even more senior leadership.

It’s going to be tough to defeat Florida State, but Nicholson gives St. Bonaventure  a legitimate shot.

KEY STATS:

67th Field Goal Percentage

104th Points per game

Team stats courtesy of ESPN.com and www.bbstate.com

PREDICTION: Florida State 

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