The #12 Murray St. Racers (25-4) face the #4 Florida State Seminoles (25-6) at XL Center on Friday at 1:00 pm ET with a spot in the Sweet 16 at stake. The Seminoles opened as 6-point chalk and the game total opened at 144.
The potent Racers are averaging 84 points per game, which ranks number 11 in the nation, led by future top-three pick Ja Morant. The point guard was at his best in Murray State’s dominant first-round upset over Marquette, dropping 17 points with 16 assists and 11 rebounds, in an 83-64 win.
Generally, the Racers aren’t nearly as good defensively, giving up 68 PPG, 77th in the country, but they were able to hold the dynamic Markus Howard and the Marquette offense to just 64 points in the first round, which is a good sign going forward.
For the year, Morant is now averaging a team-best 24 points per game. Darnell Cowart leads the team in rebounding, pulling down 6 rebounds per contest.
The Racers’ performance on the glass has been above average, somewhat surprisingly. They sit an impressive 31st overall, averaging 36 rebounds a game, but remember that most of that came against overmatched OVC competition.
The Racers will be facing a solid offense today in the form of Florida State. The Seminoles rank 93rd in offensive rating and are averaging 76 PPG (99th).
But the Seminoles’ true calling card is their D. They are 36th in defensive rating and allow 67 points per game (65th).
Mfiondu Kabengele has led the charge on offense, averaging 13 points per contest, while Terance Mann leads the Seminoles in rebounding, grabbing 6 rebounds a night.
As a team, Florida State is very strong on the boards, averaging 35 RPG, which ranks 58th overall.
The Seminoles are coming off a win last time out, beating Vermont 76-69 in the first round in a game that wasn’t really as close as the final score indicates. Vermont was able to hang around for a while, but FSU had it under control for the last 10-plus minutes in front of a somewhat hostile Hartford crowd.
Kabengele led the team in scoring, as usual, with 21 points in the win.
The win continued a hot streak for Florida State, which is now 8-2 in its last ten games. But Murray St. is coming in hot, too, going 10-0 in its last 10, including the win against Marquette.
Murray State has a better record against the spread this year. Murray St. is 22-10-0 ATS, while Florida State is just 16-18-1 ATS.
See up-to-the-minute odds, line movement, and game total prediction for Murray St. vs Florida State in the tables above. Best of luck out there.