Virginia (20-9) at Florida State (15-14)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Thursday, March 7, 7 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Donald L. Tucker Center (12,100) -- Tallahassee, Florida. Television: ESPN2. Home Record: UVA 17-1, FSU 8-7. Away Record: UVA 3-7, FSU 4-7. Neutral Record: UVA 0-1, FSU 3-0. Conference Record: UVA 10-6, FSU 7-9. Series Record: Florida State leads, 21-18.
GAME NOTES: The Virginia Cavaliers will play their final true road game of the season as they visit the Donald L. Tucker Center for an Atlantic Coast Conference tilt against the Florida State Seminoles.
Tony Bennett's Cavaliers took a step backwards after their huge, 73-68, upset of Duke. losing 53-52 to Boston College in Chestnut Hill last time out. The loss to the Eagles dropped Virginia to just 3-7 on the road and marked their third consecutive setback in an away game. Akil Mitchell tallied 16 points and eight rebounds, while Joe Harris netted 14 points against Boston College.
Leonard Hamilton's Seminoles return home after sustaining a 79-58 setback at North Carolina on Sunday that marked their third loss in the past four games. Florida State, which contended for the ACC crown a season ago, has dropped to a 15-43 standing and owns a 7-9 record versus conference rivals.
This will be the second matchup between these schools this season. Virginia coasted to a 56-36 victory in the first contest on Jan. 19 at John Paul Jones Arena, as the Cavaliers used a 22-4 run late in the first half to put the game out of reach before halftime. FSU went 1-of-15 from beyond the arc, while Virginia netted 48.9 percent of its field-goal tries.
The Cavaliers are leading the ACC and rank fourth nationally in scoring defense with only 54.4 points allowed per game. Harris, who leads the team in scoring at 17.2 ppg, is the only player in the ACC ranked in the top 10 in 3- point field-goal percentage (first), field-goal percentage (sixth) and free throw-percentage (seventh). Mitchell has been solid from the forward position all season long to net 12.9 points and 8.8 rebounds per contest. Mitchell has averaged 17.7 points and 9.2 boards per game over his last three outings.
Harris will be tested as he challenges one of the top shooting guards in the NCAA. FSU's Michael Snaer has made a name for himself as the most clutch player in college basketball by hitting big shot after big shot in the closing seconds of tight games. Snaer is leading the team with 14.4 points and 2.5 assists per game and is coming off of a 17-point outing against the Tar Heels. Devon Booker contributed 10 points but FSU shot a collective 37.1 percent from the floor. Bookert has played well since being inserted into the starting five.
Virginia is nowhere near the same team on the road as it is at home. The Seminoles were routed in Charlottesville earlier in the season, but they were also pummeled by Wake Forest on the road before downing the Demon Deacons at home later in the campaign. The homecourt edge should make it a closer game, but Virginia is too good to continue to come up short away from home.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Virginia 60, Florida State 56
03/07 10:31:48 ET