NCAAB: Virginia vs. #9 Florida State preview and pick

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January 15th, 2020

Florida State was the last team to defeat Virginia last season, before the Cavaliers went on a run to win the ACC and the national championship. When the teams meet Wednesday, Jan. 15, the Seminoles will look to defend that win, while Virginia will try to right the ship after a series of losses has led to an exit from the AP Top 25 for the first time in 46 weeks.

The teams will look quite different, but the stakes are once again high in the heat of ACC play.

Virginia at #9 Florida State, 7 p.m. ET (ESPN2)

Virginia Cavaliers
O 113.5
Florida State Seminoles
U 113.5

Tony Bennett’s standards

This year’s Virginia team sticks pretty close to the model of what people have come to expect from Cavaliers basketball. An absolute grind on both ends of the floor, pack line defense, and first-team-to-50-wins kind of games.

Virginia’s opponents this season have averaged 48.7 points per game, and the Cavaliers have held an opponent to under 40 points three times. But the Cavs have stumbled of late, with two straight losses to unranked Boston College and Syracuse.

Surging Seminoles

Florida State has been red hot early in conference play this year and will try to add another notch to its belt at home Wednesday night.

A win against the Cavs would mean 15 wins in 16 games for the Seminoles, and it would move them closer to the top of the conference standings—up with Louisville and Duke, who each have five ACC wins (and who face off in North Carolina on Saturday.)

Tale of two seasons

For these teams the 2019-2020 season has been one of divergent fortunes.

Florida State is on a rare high for the school. Its 14-2 start is one of the best in school history, and the Seminoles are already garnering some chatter as an ACC contender, as well as a team that can make a run in the NCAA Tournament.

They’re undefeated at home and have won their last four conference games by double digits.

Virginia has been vulnerable on the road

Virginia is missing several household names from last season’s national title team, including De’Andre Hunter and Ty Jerome. The Cavaliers haven’t won on the road since Nov. 6, the season opener.

While this game may seem cut and dried, anything can happen in this season of parity in college basketball. But no matter which team comes out on top (probably Florida State), one thing is secure—the under.

NCAAB free pick: Under 113.5

Conference play is heating up, so check out all the college basketball matchups at BetAmerica!