Monday, March 2, 2009

Duke-Florida State Prediction

Click Here For The ACC Tournament Final Preview Duke vs FSU


Florida State Seminoles at Duke Blue Devils
Tuesday 8PM
TV: Raycom

Both of these teams should be in the NCAA Tournament, but they are hoping to improve their seeding with another quality win. Duke has been on a tear of late winning four in a row with three wins coming on the road. FSU has won six of their last eight pulling into the AP Top 25 in the process.

Records:

Duke 24-5, 10-4, 15-1(home), RPI #2
FSU 22-7, 9-5, 7-4(away), RPI #16

Series:

Duke has won 7 of the last 10
Duke has won 4 of the last 5 at home

Last Meeting - Duke 66 FSU 58

The Blue Devils overcame the Seminoles on the road by holding FSU to 31 percent shooting from the floor and just 14 first half points. Duke shot 39 free throws to the 'Noles 14. One area where Coach K's team struggled was on the boards allowing FSU to grab 23 offensive rebounds. Gerald Henderson led all scorers with 25.



What FSU Must Do To Win...

1. Utilize Their Size Advantage
One area where Duke is weak defensively is in the post. FSU has one of the tallest teams in the conference and is led by 6'9" Uche Echefu and 7'1" Solomon Alabi down low. These two have to make a smaller Duke team pay.

2. Shoot Well
During FSU's last two losses they have shot under 40 percent in each. Although Duke is playing better defense of late they have been giving up 48.5 percent from the floor. Remember that FSU shot just 31 percent in the last meeting but is hitting 43 percent on the season.

3. Toney Douglas Goes Off
Douglas is the leader of this team and as he goes so goes FSU usually. The Cameron Crazies will be loud and proud, but Douglas could quiet them often by having a big game.

What Duke Must Do To Win...

1. Control the Boards
FSU is not a great offensive rebounding team, but Duke made them look like that in January. The Blue Devils were out rebounded on the offensive glass by VT on Saturday too. FSU is not an overly efficient offensive team ranking 194th in points per possession but offensive rebounds will help that ranking.

2. Force Turnovers
The Blue Devils got 19 from the Hokies on Saturday and could approach that number on Tuesday. Florida State gives the rock up nearly 16 times per game which ranks in the high 200s in Division I.

3. Gerald Henderson Continues Hot Streak
The junior has become Duke's go to guy on offense and has the athleticism and smarts to defend some of the ACC's best. The guard has had at least 19 in six of his last seven games.

Prediction

FSU certainly has the athleticism and height to give Duke fits on both side of the court, but Duke executes a lot better than the Seminoles. I think Duke survives a physical, back and forth game pulling it out late.

Duke wins by 7-13 points


Season: 21-20 SU through 3/1


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