#11 Florida State vs Notre Dame Road to March Madness

#11 Florida State vs Notre Dame Road to March Madness | 2021 NCAA Basketball Expert Analysis

No. 11 Florida State was the ACC regular-season champion last season and will be again this year with a win at Notre Dame on Saturday in the regular-season finale for both. The Noles will be favored on the NCAAB odds and are +2500 to win the national title.

How to Bet Florida State at Notre Dame NCAA Basketball Odds & TV Info

  • When: Saturday, noon ET
  • Where: Purcell Pavilion
  • TV: ESPN2
  • Stream: ESPN app
  • Radio:com
  • Opening NCAAB Lines: TBA (FSU will be favored)

Last Meeting

This is the only scheduled meeting between the schools. Last year, the Noles won both. In South Bend, the score was 73-71. Trent Forrest’s putback with 3.8 seconds left was the winner – that was only Florida State’s second lead of the game; it also led 5-4 very early. Seminoles guard M.J. Walker scored 16 of his 21 points over the final 8:40 to help his team rally from a 61-48 deficit. Walker is a key part of this year’s team as well.

Why Bet on Florida State? | 2021 NCAA Basketball Expert Analysis

FSU (15-4) avoided a potential trap game Wednesday at home in crushing Boston College 93-64. Both teams started the game strong, combining to connect on 7-of-11 from deep through the first seven-plus minutes of play.

The Seminoles used a 7-0 run less than nine minutes into the game to open up a double-digit lead.  FSU cruised to a 53-35 lead at the break and were in control the rest of the way. The Seminoles shot 35 of 63 (55.6%) from the floor and 13 of 27 (48.1%) from 3-point range.  BC shot 22 of 60 (36.7%) and 12 of 31 (38.7% from 3-point range. The Eagles narrowly outrebounded the Seminoles, 36-35, but committed a season-high 23 turnovers. Florida State outscored Boston College, 40-18, in the painted area.

Senior M.J. Walker scored 18 points in his final home game for FSU in what was the team’s 11th double-digit victory of the season. Florida State now has 25 straight ACC home wins, only win from tying the ACC record. The Seminoles are 77-4 (.951) in their last 81 home games, dating back to the 2015-16 season.

Walker was six of nine from beyond the arc, tying his career high of six triples in a single game. He is now the 10th player in school history with 450 or more career 3-point field goals attempted and only needs five more triples to become the ninth player in school history with 175 or more career 3-point field goals made. Redshirt junior RaiQuan Gray scored in double figures for the 11th consecutive game with 16 points. Gray was 7-for-7 from the field.

With 78 bench points against the Eagles, Florida State held a lead for 37:16 of the game. The Seminoles’ bench outscored the Eagles’ bench 78-15. It’s the third straight season that Florida State has won at least 11 ACC games. The Seminoles were 13-5 in ACC play during the 2018-19 season and were 16-4 in ACC play in 2019-20 (ACC Regular Season Champions and a school record for ACC wins in a season).

FSU is ranked second in the ACC with a .387 team 3-point field goal shooting percentage. That would rank as the third-best mark in school history.

Why Bet on Notre Dame? | 2021 NCAA Basketball Expert Analysis

The Irish (9-14) will not be an NCAA Tournament team as they lost a fourth straight Wednesday, 80-69 at home to NC State. Notre Dame took its one and only lead on the first basket of the game, but the Pack answered with nine straight to take an early 9-2 advantage.

A three pointer from Notre Dame junior guard Prentis Hubb would tie it 11-11 at 13:11 left in the opening half, but Braxton Beverly would answer with a bucket on the Pack’s ensuing possession and Notre Dame would never draw even again. The Pack would break open the game with a 12-3 run to take a 34-24 lead with 3:42 remaining and would take a 40-32 lead into the break.

The Irish had three players finish in double figures in the scoring column with Hubb leading the team with 14 points. Nate Wertz added 12 and Juwan Durham chipped in 10.  Hubb needs 15 more points to become the 65th Notre Dame player to reach 1,000 points in a season and the 24th of the Mike Brey era. Should he reach 1,000 points this season, he would be the sixth player of the Brey era (that played all seasons for Coach Brey) to reach that plateau in his third season of action.

There is some talk that Notre Dame could fire Brey after this disappointing season.

“I’m committed here,” Brey said after Wednesday’s loss. “Certainly, committed to this group, how it finishes for us this year. … We do have a good group coming back. We have a real good big guy (Yale graduate transfer Paul Atkinson) coming. I’ve thought about that a lot as we have dug through a little bit of everything.”

Notre Dame is the final school in the ACC to host back-to-back home games and joins Louisville and North Carolina as the only ACC teams to host just one back-to-back league game series in 2020-21.

Expert College Basketball Prediction

Florida State 77, Notre Dame 71


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