FSU Basketball Looks to Bounce Back and Sweep Miami

The Florida State Seminoles men’s basketball team will travel to take on the Miami Hurricanes Sunday, Jan. 27. ESPN is giving the Seminoles a 54% chance to win, this percentage is based on stats like FSU’s past performance against Miami and their win-loss margin on the season. After losing consecutively to Duke and Pittsburgh, the Seminoles are looking to steer their season back on track. Before the Seminoles’ matchup against the Duke Blue Devils, FSU owned an impressive 13-2 record, with a lone win against an ACC opponent. Now the Seminoles have dropped two games straight and are on the brink of being outside of the AP top 25 for the first time this season. After a rough mid-season, the Seminoles are looking to “get their head in the game” by destroying the Hurricanes.

Though redshirt sophomore Mfiondu Kabengele led the Seminoles with 24 points and 10 rebounds, it was not enough to lift the Seminoles past Duke. The No. 1 Duke Blue Devils sank a final second three-pointer to take home an 80-78 victory in Tallahassee. Two days later, though the Seminoles held an unranked Pittsburgh Panthers team to just 34.8% shooting and 29.4% on the three-point line, the Seminoles lost 75-62 in Pittsburgh. “There’s no doubt that we were extremely disappointed, but Pitt lost their game on Saturday, too. They bounced back, and we didn’t,” Coach Leonard Hamilton said. 

The Seminoles’ lone ACC win came against the Miami Hurricanes. In the first matchup between the two, the Seminoles won in Tallahassee with a 68-62 final. The Seminoles held their rival to just 37% shooting and 22% on the three-point line, with senior David Nichols, leading the Seminoles team with 13 points and 3 assists. Nonetheless, the Seminoles know the second game of this series will not come without a fight. In the win over the Hurricanes, the Seminoles led 64-62 in the final 56 seconds of the game before pulling away. Coach Hamilton recognized this after the first Miami game this season saying, “In ACC level of competition, you can’t have those types of possessions where you’re not playing intelligent basketball.” 

With a win on Sunday, the Seminoles would continue their streak of the second regular-season sweep against the Hurricanes for past three seasons and add to their 44-36 all-time lead over Miami basketball. Also, who doesn’t like to crush their in-state rival twice in one season? A win for Florida State means a fresh start and leaving their losing streak in the past, whereas if Miami wants a good shot at reaching the March Madness dance, they will need to bring the heat against the Seminoles. 

The final matchup between the Hurricanes and the Seminoles of the 2019 regular season will be held in Watsco Center at the University of Miami. The game will be broadcast live on ESPNU and the Watch ESPN App starting at 6 p.m.