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The Vermont Catamounts will be looking for their 28th win of the season when the team travels to the XL Center to take on the Florida State Seminoles. Vermont enters this game with a 27-6 record this season as it beat UMBC in its last game. Meanwhile, Florida State enters this game with a 27-7 record after losing to Duke in its last game. Now, both teams will be looking another win this Thursday.
Vermont Wins Its Conference In Convincing Fashion
This season, the Vermont Catamounts were expected to win their respective conference as the team had significantly more talent than any other team. So far this season, the team has fulfilled all of its preseason goals as the team did manage to run the table in the conference tournament and clinched a berth in the NCAA tournament. However, the team has faced extremely easy opponents in the last few months of the season and will now have to face an elite team in the sport’s best conference. Vermont has the components to shock some teams but it will need to play a relatively perfect game to do so against Florida State.
The Vermont Catamounts are led by junior forward Anthony Lamb who was a huge factor on last year’s team. Last season, Lamb was extremely solid as he averaged 14.3 points per game along with 5.0 rebounds. However, he has managed to excel this season as he is currently leading the team in scoring with a career-high 18.0 points per game on an absurd 57.1% shooting from the floor. As the best player on this year’s team, he will need to carry his team almost single-handedly if the team plans on pulling off this upset.
Coach Becker did discuss the issues of playing a team with the length and size that Florida State possesses and he believes that rebounding will be the key.
“We’re a really good defensive team, but we haven’t played the likes of this size before. So we’re going to have to really clean up the glass and box out and get rebounds,” Becker said.
Florida State Loses In Conference Title Game
This season, Florida State looked to improve upon last year’s success as the team hoped to compete in the ACC and to make another deep run in the NCAA tournament. So far this season, the team has fulfilled expectations quite nicely as the team is currently 27-7 and made the finals of its conference tournament. However, the team did lose that game to Duke by ten points. In that game, Florida State’s offense struggled as it only scored 63 points on less than 32% shooting from the floor. However, with a much worse up next, one should expect the Seminoles to roll offensively in this game.
The Florida State Seminoles are led by senior guard Terance Mann who was a huge factor on last year’s team. Last season, Mann was extremely solid as he averaged 12.6 points per game along with 5.4 rebounds. However, he has managed to excel this season as he is currently second on the team in scoring with 11.2 points per game along with 6.4 rebounds per game. As a senior, he has been the leader of this team all year long and the team will need his leadership if it plans on winning this game.
Coach Hamilton had extremely high praises for Mann prior to the game and commended him on his leadership capabilities.
“He’s extremely competitive. He has a high basketball IQ, he’s a team player. He’s a leader of our team in the locker room, on the basketball court. I think it will mean an awful lot to him to have an opportunity to go and play in advance,” Hamilton said.
- Under is 4-0 in Seminoles last 4 NCAA Tournament games.
- Under is 6-2 in Seminoles last 8 overall.
- Under is 9-3 in Seminoles last 12 neutral site games.
- Under is 4-0 in Catamounts last 4 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600.
- Under is 6-2 in Catamounts last 8 NCAA Tournament games.
- Under is 5-2 in Catamounts last 7 overall.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Although Florida State is the better team, I think that Vermont is getting too many points in this one. Florida State is an elite team but it only has two players who average at least ten points per game so one has to be a bit skeptical about this team’s ability to cover point spreads of this magnitude on a neutral site in this game. It is also an NCAA tournament game in which the underdog will have the best player on the court. Small lean to the underdog plus the points in this one.
Prediction: Vermont +10.5
Full-Game Total Pick
Both teams have the ability to score points but I think that their respective defenses are elite. Both teams are giving up less than 68 points per game this season as they each possess top 54 defenses in all of college basketball. As a result, I expect points to come at a premium in this one. The trends also all support the under so I recommend the under in this matchup.
Prediction: Under 133.5