Florida State was one of the teams to land on the receiving end of VCU’s run to the Final Four last season, losing on a layup in the final seconds during the Sweet 16.
Rest assured, the Seminoles aren’t about to overlook another double-digit seed.
“We use [VCU] as a constant reminder every day to stay focused and to perform at the top of our ability,” center Bernard James said this week.
That means staying focused for 14 seed St. Bonaventure on Friday. FSU is the East’s No. 3 seed and a six-point favorite to beat the Bonnies, who are making their first appearance in the Big Dance since 2000.
That shouldn’t be a problem if FSU’s nasty defense gets any support from its streaky shooters. With Michael Snaer, Deividas Dulkys and Ian Miller, it has three guys who can heat up at any time and should be able to find seams in the Bonnies’ average defense.
Then, there’s stopping Andrew Nicholson.
St. Bonaventure’s 6-9 senior is one of the tournament’s top players, a beast down low, able to hit a mid-range jumper and is the driving force behind the Bonnies.
“He’s a moving target, and you really can’t key on him as well,” FSU coach Hamilton said. “He’s not always on the post. He’s not always on the perimeter, plus he can take you off the dribble.”
The ‘Noles are riding high after winning the ACC tournament. But I doubt they’ll underestimate St. Bonaventure. The only thing keeping them from the round of 32 will be themselves.
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