Photo: The News-Press

FSU And FGCU Rank 1st And 3rd In The Nation In Dunks This Year

In the final match-up of the round of 64, Florida State University will go to battle against in state rival, Florida Gulf Coast University.

It will be the first time since March 18, 2014 in the NIT opening round that these two teams has faced off, with FSU having the edge as they won by five points.

Back to the present now as FSU has had a tremendous season that no one really expected. They started the year 16-1 including a 12 game winning streak and defeated teams like Florida, Virginia, Duke, and West Virginia. After losing to UNC, they defeated Notre Dame and Louisville as well. They finished the year 25-8 and finished second in the best conference in College basketball, the ACC and now have everyone knowing who they are.

Photo: All for Tennessee

For FGCU, they had another fantastic season as they finished with a 26-7 season and won the ASUN tournament to punch their ticket to the big dance. Now everyone knows FGCU back in 2013 when they were the sweet hearts of the tourney by winning the first two rounds and making it all the way to the sweet 16 and causing so many brackets to be busted. They are looking to make history again this time in 2017.

One thing to watch in this game is FGCU’s offense. When they score, it’s usually off dimes being dropped left to right as they score 85% of the time from an assist. That’s an astonishing percentage. They also have Brandon Goodwin, who can flat out score at will. The dude is averaging 18 points a game while almost getting five boards and four assists a game. He will be key if FGCU wants to advance to the second round.

Photo: The Daily Nole

FSU is going to rely on their defense as they have a guy in Xavier Rathan-Mayes, who is one of the best defenders in the country, was named to the All-ACC defensive team. Their defense has been on point throughout the season and Mayes is a big part of that success. They also like to play an inside-outside type of game which gets opposing defenses confused.

If FSU can do what they do, then they will have no problem in winning this game and moving on but watch out for FGCU as they have had that magic for them before and wouldn’t surprise anyone it they did again.

This game will be played at the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida. The game will be aired on TNT with tip off at 9:20 p.m. eastern.

 

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Anthony Abruzzo is a sports writer that covers the UCF Men's Basketball team. He is currently a student at UCF as well.