Elite 8 game preview: Michigan (3) vs Florida State (9)

Basketball

The Elite Eight is set for take off. Michigan and Florida State square off for the West Region Final on Saturday night.

Florida State (9) has been upsetting teams all tournament. With wins over Missouri (8), Xavier (1), and Gonzaga (4), the Seminoles set their sights on 3-seed Michigan.

Michigan fought tooth and nail for their wins… until they destroyed Texas A&M (7) by 27 points. Now they look to add another notch to their 12-game win streak.

Maybe, ESPN should consider reseeding their reseedings.

Florida State offense by the numbers

Florida State is a pretty versatile team.

They don’t shoot from the outside extremely well, but they are very efficient inside the arc.

Per Kenpom, the Seminoles are 40th in the nation in 2-point shooting percentage, while they are 157th in 3-point shooting percentage. Their roster is loaded with athletic guys that are around 6-foot-6 and can finish at the bucket.

Anyone on this team can score big points and lead the team to a win. That’s what makes them difficult to play. In all three of their tournament wins, a different player has led the team in scoring, but nobody has eclipsed 20 points in a game. Teams can’t just zero in on stopping one guy and expect to stop this offense.

FSU’s adjusted efficiency is ranked 33rd in the country by Kenpom.

Turnovers

Florida State averages a 17.7 percent turnover percentage, which in the grand scheme of college basketball is relatively good – but below the?average.

Those turnovers, about 13 per game for the Seminoles, become exponentially more important when the opponent isn’t turning the ball over, especially when playing a defense as good as Michigan’s.

The perfect example is the Texas A&M game. Michigan finished with 7 turnovers and A&M finished with 14. In?A&M’s first 10 turnovers, Michigan created 15 points, while in the same span the Aggies created 0 points off Wolverine turnovers.

Michigan offensive gameplan

One place where the Wolverines should take advantage of FSU is on the perimeter. Teams playing the Seminoles shoot 36 percent from 3, which is 231st in the nation per Kenpom.

Look for Michigan to take advantage of that the same way that they did against Texsa A&M. Yes, Texas A&M had big dudes, but they couldn’t run around on the outside with Zavier Simpson and Moe Wagner on picks. This led to open 3-pointers for Wagner, and Simpson running past big guys for layups. The Seminoles aren’t playing with the type of guys that A&M had, but they have guys like 7-foot-4 Christ Koumadje, and 7-footer Ike Obiagu that usually end up playing about 26 combined minutes per game. It wouldn’t be a surprise if they played significantly less minutes against Michigan.

Verdict

With Michigan oming off a completely dominating performance against the Aggies, they should be able to get this done. It is hard to beat the Seminoles by keying in on one player, but the Wolverines have one of the best defenses in the nation. It will be interesting to see how FSU defends Michigan, but if they keep it going from their last game, it won’t matter what Florida State does. If they switch screens or not, play zone or man, bring in the big guys or small, I still like Michigan’s chances of reaching the Final Four.

Staff predictions

  • Landon Dillion?- 80-70 Michigan
  • Brandon Justice – 77-70 Michigan
  • Eric Coughlin – 70-64 Michigan
  • LGHail – 75-66 Michigan
  • Tanner Wooten 84-64 Michigan

 

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