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Koumadje leads No. 17 Florida State past Georgia Tech 69-47

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ATLANTA — Christ Koumadje had 10 points and 12 rebounds as No. 17 Florida State tied a school record with its seventh straight ACC win, beating Georgia Tech 69-47 Saturday.

Freshman Devin Vassell came off the bench to score a team-high 11 while playing in his hometown for the Seminoles (20-5, 8-4).

Georgia Tech (11-15, 3-10) lost its seventh straight ACC game with another offensive struggle.

Tech guard Jose Alvarado broke out of a lengthy slump with 17 points, but the Yellow Jackets made just 8 of 36 shots from inside the 3-point arc and shot 34.8 percent overall. They’ve averaged 53.1 points in the streak. On Saturday, they put up their seventh and eighth halves in the streak scoring 25 or fewer points.

The teams were tied at 10 early before the Jackets fell into the first of multiple shooting freezes, and the Seminoles stretched their lead to 31-15 on a layup by Terance Mann with 4:27 left.

To that point, Tech had made just 6 of 26 shots, and center James Banks III — the Jackets’ leading scorer in ACC action — was off the mark on his first six.

Phil Cofer, David Nichols and Vassell each a pair of 3-pointers before Alvarado and Abdoulaye Gueye hit back-to-back shots from beyond the arc for the Jackets, and Banks finally got loose for a dunk shortly before the buzzer to pull Tech within 34-23 at halftime.

BIG PICTURE

Florida State: The first time the Seminoles put together a seven-game ACC winning streak, in the 2011-’12 season, they went on to win the ACC Tournament. This also cemented a fourth consecutive season with 20 or more wins overall, matching a run from 2009-’12 that also was under head coach Leonard Hamilton.

Georgia Tech: The Jackets keep churning their lineup, as freshman forward Kristian Sjolund made his first start and sophomore Moses Wright returned to the lineup for the first time in more than a month. Sjolund scored 19 points in Tech’s previous two games after scoring just nine combined all season before that, and he can shoot. They were replaced to start the second half by Gueye and Brandon Alston. Sjolund had 11 points, including 3 of 7 3-pointers, and Wright scored two.

Bracketology: Happy Valentine’s Day for Duke, LSU

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Since it’s Valentine’s Day, we’ll sweep the epic crumbles of futility – otherwise known as this year’s bubble – under the proverbial rug and try not to look.

Instead, we’ll send Happy Heart greetings to the Duke Blue Devils and LSU Tigers, both of whom celebrated huge road wins in the Commonwealth on Tuesday.  For their efforts, Duke remains the No. 1 overall seed in today’s bracket.  LSU rises to No. 12 on the seed list, good for the final No. 3 seed.

As for those crumbles, today’s cutline decisions included serious consideration for teams like Oklahoma, Indiana, Butler, and Florida, all of whom have significant resume issues. There are no clear answers, especially with regards to how the Selection Committee will use the NCAA’s new NET ratings.  The good news for those four, and others, is we still have games to play.

BRACKET UPDATE: February 14, 2019

FIRST FOUR – DAYTON
WEST REGION Clemson vs. Arizona State
MIDWEST REGION UNC Greensboro vs. Utah State
EAST REGION Norfolk State vs. Quinnipiac
MIDWEST REGION Robert Morris vs. Prairie View

EAST Washington, DC   SOUTH – Louisville                       
Columbia Columbia
1) DUKE 1) TENNESSEE
16) QUINNIPIAC / NORFOLK ST 16) BUCKNELL
8) BUFFALO 8) Baylor
9) Alabama 9) Syracuse
San Jose Salt Lake City
5) Wisconsin 5) KANSAS STATE
12) LIPSCOMB 12) BELMONT
4) Iowa State 4) VILLANOVA
13) VERMONT 13) OLD DOMINION
Des Moines Tulsa
6) Florida State 6) Maryland
11) UCF 11) Texas
3) Marquette 3) HOUSTON
14) YALE 14) UC-IRVINE
Hartford Jacksonville
7) Mississippi State 7) Ohio State
10) NC State 10) Seton Hall
2) Michigan 2) North Carolina
15) LOYOLA-CHICAGO 15) RADFORD
WEST – Anaheim MIDWEST – Kansas City
Salt Lake City Hartford
1) GONZAGA 1) Virginia
16) SAM HOUSTON 16) ROB MORRIS / PR VIEW
8) St. John’s 8) WASHINGTON
9) Auburn 9) TCU
San Jose Des Moines
5) Louisville 5) Texas Tech
12) Clemson / Arizona State 12) NC-Greensboro / Utah State
4) NEVADA 4) Purdue
13) NEW MEXICO ST 13) HOFSTRA
Jacksonville Tulsa
6) Virginia Tech 6) Iowa
11) Temple 11) VCU
3) LSU 3) Kansas
14) NORTHERN KENTUCKY 14) SOUTH DAKOTA ST
Columbus Columbus
7) Ole Miss 7) Cincinnati
10) WOFFORD 10) Minnesota
2) MICHIGAN STATE 2) Kentucky
15) MONTANA 15) TEXAS STATE

BUBBLE NOTES
Last 4 Byes Last 4 IN      First 4 OUT Next 4 OUT
Minnesota Clemson Oklahoma Arkansas
Texas Arizona State Indiana Georgetown
UCF UNC-Greensboro Butler Fresno State
Temple Utah State Florida Davidson

TOP SEED LINE: Duke is the No. 1 overall seed, followed by Tennessee, Virginia, and Gonzaga

Breakdown by Conference …

ACC (9): DUKE, Virginia, North Carolina, Louisville, Florida State, Virginia Tech, Syracuse, NC State, Clemson

Big 10 (8): MICHIGAN STATE, Michigan, Purdue, Wisconsin, Iowa, Maryland, Ohio State, Minnesota

BIG 12 (7): KANSAS STATE, Kansas, Iowa State, Texas Tech, Baylor, TCU, Texas

SEC (7): TENNESSEE, Kentucky, LSU, Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Auburn, Alabama

Big East (4): VILLANOVA, Marquette, St. John’s, Seton Hall

American (4): HOUSTON, Cincinnati, UCF, Temple

Pac 12 (2): WASHINGTON, Arizona State

Mountain West (2): NEVADA, Utah State

Southern (2): WOFFORD, UNC-Greensboro

Atlantic 10 (1): VCU

Mid American (1): BUFFALO

West Coast (1): GONZAGA

ONE BID LEAGUES: Loyola-Chicago (MVC), Quinnipiac (MAAC), Old Dominion (C-USA), Texas State (SBELT), Yale (IVY), Montana (BSKY), Northern Kentucky (HORIZON), Sam Houston (SLND), UC-Irvine (BWEST), Lipscomb (ASUN), Belmont (OVC), Hofstra (CAA), Radford (BSO), Norfolk State (MEAC), South Dakota State (SUM), New Mexico State (WAC), Vermont (AEAST), Bucknell (PAT), Robert Morris (NEC), Prairie View (SWAC)

Koumadje has double-double as No. 17 Florida St. routs Wake

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Christ Koumadje hasn’t had many chances to make an impact on games this season. But he used his long, 7-foot-4 frame to dominate Wake Forest for the best night of his college career.

Koumadje recorded his first career double-double, with a season-high 20 points and a career-high 12 rebounds, to help No. 17 Florida State rout Wake Forest 88-66 on Wednesday night.

“He did a really good job of going to the offensive glass early on, especially in our zone,” Wake Forest coach Danny Manning said. “We didn’t turn and go hit him, he brought the contact to us. When he gets within four feet of the basket, when he jumps, he’s right there at the rim.”

Koumadje, who is playing in his 109th career game, played just 24 minutes but was efficient from start to finish. He made 10 of 12 shots from the floor as the Seminoles won their sixth straight game.

While he has been an effective rebounder this season, Koumadje didn’t score in Florida State’s last game and hadn’t produced more than nine points in his previous 10 ACC games this season. But he was a significant part of the game plan from the start on Wednesday, scoring 12 points and pulling down eight rebounds as the Seminoles took a 38-31 halftime lead.

“The coaches demand energy from me,” Koumadje said. “Coming out, I was just trying to be aggressive. My teammates found me. I was crashing the glass.”

Phil Cofer scored 13 points and Mfiondu Kabengele had nine points and seven rebounds for Florida State (19-5, 7-4 ACC), which enjoyed its most lopsided win against an ACC team this season. The Seminoles’ previous best performance was an 80-62 win at Syracuse on Feb. 5.

Florida State outrebounded Wake Forest 43-27. Koumadje had five of the Seminoles’ 12 offensive rebounds.

“We didn’t rebound the ball the way we had typically rebounded in league play,” Manning said. “We have to do a better job on the backboard.”

Chaundee Brown scored 20 points on 7 of 12 shooting and Brandon Childress had 11 points for Wake Forest (9-14, 2-9). The Demon Deacons are just 1-6 against ranked teams this season.

Wake Forest shot 38.6 percent (22 of 57) from the floor.

Cofer and P.J. Savoy each made three 3-pointers as the Seminoles shot 38.5 percent (10 for 26) from beyond the arc.

The Seminoles shot 56.5 percent (35 of 62) from the floor. They had 13 players score in the game as Florida State’s bench produced 41 points.

“We intended to get them in regardless,” Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton said of using the reserves. “They were very effective when they went in.”

Florida State has won six straight ACC games for the first time since the 2011-12 season in which the Seminoles also won the league tournament.

STRENGTH IS DEPTH

Koumadje is the eighth Florida State player to lead the team in scoring in a game this season. Others who have led the way for the Seminoles are Cofer, Kabengele, P.J. Savoy, Terance Mann, M.J. Walker, Trent Forrest and David Nichols.

SOME IMPROVEMENT

Wake Forest came in shooting 29.8 percent from 3-point range. But Childress and Brown each made 3-pointers on Wednesday as the Demon Deacons shot 44 percent (11 of 25) from beyond the arc.

“They hit some 3s that we contested very well,” Hamilton said.

POLL IMPLICATIONS

Few ACC teams have been as impressive as Florida State the past three weeks. The Seminoles could move up into the top 15.

BIG PICTURE

Wake Forest: The Demon Deacons battled for a half but lost for a sixth straight time in Tallahassee, where they haven’t won since 2008.

Florida State: The Seminoles shot 64.5 percent (20 of 31) in the second half and only committed four turnovers in the final 20 minutes.

UP NEXT

Wake Forest hosts North Carolina on Saturday.

Florida State plays at Georgia Tech on Saturday.

Bracketology: Committee pens Duke, Tennessee as 1-2 punch

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Few of us were surprised on Saturday when the Selection Committee announced that Duke and Tennessee were Nos. 1 and 1A on their Seed List.  After an action-filled weekend, neither position has changed, although one could argue that Duke’s win at Virginia, giving the Blue Devils a regular-season sweep, might create a more distinct line of separation between those two.

The only top-line move this morning was lifting Gonzaga to No. 3 on the Seed List and dropping Virginia to No. 4.  Gonzaga still reigns over the West Region and Virginia the Midwest.  Elsewhere, team positions on the first four lines mirror what the Committee gave us on Saturday.  One could argue whether or not Iowa State would stay after a home loss to TCU, or about how losses by Louisville and Wisconsin might also impact those lines.  For today, we’ll let the Committee’s voice be heard.

Unfortunately, the Committee didn’t provide us any sort of insight into what has become a very mediocre bubble picture.  Then again, why take on that headache right now? Hopefully, some cleaner lines of separation will develop over the next three weeks.

UPDATED: February 11, 2019

FIRST FOUR – DAYTON
SOUTH REGION Butler vs. UCF
WEST REGION Oklahoma / Temple
EAST REGION Norfolk State vs. Canisius
MIDWEST REGION Robert Morris vs. Prairie View

EAST Washington, DC      SOUTH – Louisville                       
Columbia Columbia
1) DUKE 1) TENNESSEE
16) NORFOLK ST / CANISIUS 16) BUCKNELL
8) BUFFALO 8) Syracuse
9) Alabama 9) Baylor
San Jose San Jose
5) LSU 5) Texas Tech
12) BELMONT 12) Butler / UCF
4) Iowa State 4) NEVADA
13) HOFSTRA 13) VERMONT
Des Moines Hartford
6) Virginia Tech 6) Florida State
11) VCU 11) Seton Hall
3) Marquette 3) Purdue
14) NORTHERN KENTUCKY 14) YALE
Columbus Jacksonville
7) Cincinnati 7) Mississippi State
10) Texas 10) Minnesota
2) MICHIGAN 2) North Carolina
15) LOYOLA-CHICAGO 15) RADFORD
MIDWEST – Kansas City WEST – Anaheim
Hartford Salt Lake City
1) Virginia 1) GONZAGA
16) PR VIEW / ROB MORRIS 16) SAM HOUSTON
8) St. John’s 8) Auburn
9) Ole Miss 9) TCU
Salt Lake City Columbus
5) KANSAS STATE 5) VILLANOVA
12) LIPSCOMB 12) Oklahoma / Temple
4) Wisconsin 4) Louisville
13) NEW MEXICO ST 13) OLD DOMINION
Tulsa Tulsa
6) Maryland 6) Iowa
11) Arizona State 11) Clemson
3) HOUSTON 3) Kansas
14) SOUTH DAKOTA ST 14) UC-IRVINE
Jacksonville Des Moines
7) Ohio State 7) WASHINGTON
10) NC State 10) WOFFORD
2) Kentucky 2) Michigan State
15) MONTANA 15) MONTANA

BUBBLE NOTES
Last 4 Byes Last 4 IN      First 4 OUT Next 4 OUT
Minnesota Butler Georgetown Providence
Arizona State UCF NC-Greensboro Utah State
Seton Hall Oklahoma Arkansas Florida
Clemson Temple Indiana Creighton

TOP SEED LINE: Duke is the No. 1 overall seed, followed by Tennessee, Virginia, and Gonzaga

Breakdown by Conference …

ACC (9): DUKE, Virginia, North Carolina, Louisville, Florida State, Virginia Tech, Syracuse, NC State, Clemson

Big 10 (8): MICHIGAN, Michigan State, Purdue, Wisconsin, Iowa, Maryland, Ohio State, Minnesota

BIG 12 (8): KANSAS STATE, Kansas, Iowa State, Texas Tech, Baylor, TCU, Texas, Oklahoma

SEC (7): TENNESSEE, Kentucky, LSU, Mississippi State, Auburn, Ole Miss, Alabama

Big East (5): VILLANOVA, Marquette, St. John’s, Seton Hall, Butler

American (4): HOUSTON, Cincinnati, UCF, Temple

Pac 12 (2): WASHINGTON, Arizona State

Atlantic 10 (1): VCU

Mid American (1): BUFFALO

Mountain West (1): NEVADA

West Coast (1): GONZAGA

ONE BID LEAGUES: Loyola-Chicago (MVC), Canisius (MAAC), Old Dominion (C-USA), Texas State (SBELT), Princeton (IVY), Montana (BSKY), Northern Kentucky (HORIZON), Sam Houston (SLND), Wofford (STHN), UC-Irvine (BWEST), Lipscomb (ASUN), Belmont (OVC), Hofstra (CAA), Radford (BSO), Norfolk State (MEAC), South Dakota State (SUM), New Mexico State (WAC), Vermont (AEAST), Bucknell (PAT), Robert Morris (NEC), Prairie View (SWAC)

NBC Sports Top 25: Duke is No. 1, Virginia remains top five

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There wasn’t much change in the top ten for me this week. Virginia was the only member of the top six to lose, and they lost on a night where the No. 1 team shot 13-for-21 from three. As I wrote from that game, it’s hard to think any less of them after that.

Michigan State is the team in the top ten that is the hardest to rank right now. On the one hand, they did lose three straight games, culminating in that loss at Illinois on Tuesday night. On the other hand, everyone lost last week. Villanova lost to Marquette who lost to St. John’s, both games decided by a single point. Kansas lost. Virginia Tech lost twice. I can’t bump any of them over the Spartans, and I also am not yet ready to bump Nevada or Houston past them. Nevada’s best win this season is Utah State at home. They haven’t even played a Q1 game this year, let alone landed a Q1 win.

Purdue and Michigan State are basically the same team and split the season series. The only difference is that Purdue lost early and Michigan State lost recently.

Beyond that, figuring out how to rank the Big 12 is like throwing darts blindfolded. As of today, I have Kansas State as the highest ranked team in the league — how can I not? — with Iowa State, Texas Tech and Kansas right behind them, in that order, but I’m not actually convinced that the Wildcats aren’t the worst of that group of four teams.

We are at the point in league play where college basketball is starting to get weird.

And I am here for it.

Here is the rest of the NBC Sports Top 25:

1. Duke (21-2, Last Week: 1)
2. Tennessee (22-1, 2)
3. Gonzaga (23-1, 3)
4. Virginia (20-2, 4)
5. Kentucky (20-3, 5)
6. Michigan (22-2, 6)
7. North Carolina (19-4, 8)
8. Michigan State (19-5, 7)
9. Marquette (20-4, 10)
10. Villanova (19-5, 11)
11. Nevada (23-1, 13)
12. Purdue (17-6, 15)
13. Houston (23-1, 16)
14. Kansas State (18-5, NR)
15. Iowa State (18-6, 14)
16. Texas Tech (19-5, 17)
17. Kansas (18-6, 12)
18. Virginia Tech (18-5, 9)
19. Wisconsin (17-7, 18)
20. LSU (19-4, 20)
21. Louisville (17-7, 21)
22. Iowa (19-5, 25)
23. Buffalo (20-3, 23)
24. Florida State (18-5, NR)
25. Wofford (21-4, NR)

Dropped Out: 19. Mississippi State, 22. Baylor, 24. Auburn
New Additions: 14. Kansas State, 24. Florida State, 25. Wofford

Kabengele, Mann help Florida State edge Louisville in OT

AP Photo/Steve Cannon
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Mfiondu Kabengele scored 22 points and No. 22 Florida State erased a 10-point second-half deficit to force overtime, then knocked off No. 16 Louisville 80-75 on Saturday.

Terance Mann added 20 points for the Seminoles (18-5, 6-4 Atlantic Coast Conference), who made 11 of 12 free throws in overtime to wrap up their fifth straight win. Mann hit 9 of 11 free throws to secure his second straight 20-point game and fifth of the season.

Kabengele shot 7 of 12 from the floor and pulled down seven rebounds. It was the 16th time he has come off the bench to score in double figures.

Christen Cunningham scored 20 points, including 13 in the first half, for Louisville (17-7, 8-3). Ryan McMahon made three 3-pointers in a span of 90 seconds in the second half as the Cardinals pulled ahead 52-42 in the second half.

Louisville’s Dwayne Sutton scored 14 points, knocking down four 3-pointers.

Trent Forrest had 15 points, six rebounds and five steals for the Seminoles, who have won 11 of 13 games against teams ranked in the AP Top 25.

M.J. Walker had 11 points after halftime for Florida State, which has won five straight ACC games for the first time since 2011-12.

Louisville lost a pair of starters, Steven Enoch and Khwan Fore, to foul trouble. Enoch had six points and four rebounds in 14 minutes while Fore had six points.

BIG PICTURE

Louisville: The Cardinals led 52-42 with 10:07 to go, but couldn’t close out an eighth victory in the last nine games.

Florida State: The Seminoles needed extra time to escape without a second home loss of the season. Their first came against Duke, 80-78, on Jan. 12.