NCAA Tournament: Could Florida and FSU both make the Sweet 16?
A few random March Madness thoughts, a day after Florida and Florida State both advanced to the NCAA Tournament's second round, and a day before they try to reach the Sweet 16:
1. Florida-Virginia will be ugly. Maybe really, really ugly. Virginia has the nation's top scoring defense, allowing only 55.6 points per game. The Gators are in the top 50 in that category (66.6). The advanced metrics are even stronger - both teams are in the top four in KenPom's adjusted defensive efficiency. Add in the fact that UF's top two scorers finished 2-of-15 shooting yesterday, and the Cavaliers scored only 11 points in the first 13 minutes yesterday, and this could be painful.
2. The Seminoles look like the ultimate boom-or-bust team. FSU could lose to Xavier tomorrow by double digits or make the Final Four. Neither outcome would surprise me, or our Martin Fennelly, or the AP's Mark Long:
Is there any other top-4 seed in the NCAA tourney that can look soooo good for stretches and soooo bad for stretches? Or just FSU?— Mark Long (@APMarkLong) March 17, 2017
My answer to Long: FSU football, at least in last season's opener against Ole Miss...in Orlando, fittingly enough. The FSU team that opened that game looked like a team that would, say, lose to Louisville by 43 points. The team that ended it looked like a team that could, say, beat a very good Michigan team in a New Year's Six bowl.
3. So which team is more likely to make it to the Sweet 16? How about both? Virginia's guards looked good yesterday, but UF can match that with a quick backcourt, too. FSU has so much talent and size that it has to make it past the first weekend...right? The Gators and Seminoles have only made it to the Sweet 16 one year together - 2011.