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Georgetown visits FSU in NIT on Monday
By: Robert Livingston - StatFox
Published: 3/24/2014  at  4:04:00 AM
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NIT - Second Round
Donald L. Tucker Center - Tallahassee, FL
Tip-off: 7:00 p.m. ET
Line: Florida State -4

NIT action will continue to heat up in the second round on Monday night as big-time programs Georgetown and Florida State tip-off in Tallahassee.

A bubble team for the NCAA Tournament, the Seminoles earned a No. 1 seed in the NIT after going 20-13 SU (16-14-1 ATS) this season, though just 1-3 ATS in their past four contests. They narrowly beat 10.5-point underdog Florida Gulf Coast by a 58-53 score in the NIT first round, failing to cover a 10.5-point spread. FSU is now 8-3 ATS against non-conference foes, but a subpar 5-7-1 ATS (10-5 SU) on its home floor. The Hoyas are currently 16-15 ATS overall this season, but are just 3-7 ATS in true road games. However, they went 7-5 ATS (10-3 SU) against non-conference opponents. Georgetown beat West Virginia 77-65 in the NIT first round, easily covering a four-point spread. They trailed by three entering halftime, but scored 47 second-half points and finished 24-of-30 (80%) from the free-throw line to seal the victory. The Hoyas benefit from the Seminoles' poor 12-28 ATS record (30%) as a home favorite (or pick) of six points or less under head coach Leonard Hamilton, but they are also 11-3 ATS (79%) after playing a home game this season.

Which school will move on to the quarterfinals? For the latest college basketball picks, check out The Platinum Sheet for all the StatFox Experts selections every week throughout the entire 2013-14 season. The StatFox Experts opened the NCAA Tournament with a sizzling 62% ATS mark (46-28-1) through the Round of 32, making them a stellar 60% ATS (317-213-17) in college basketball Best Bets this season. StatFox Brian is on an amazing Best Bets run of 32-8-2 (80% ATS) since Feb. 6, 41-11-3 (79% ATS) since Jan. 17, to give him a robust 70% ATS (73-32-4) record in Best Bets for the season. StatFox Dave is a phenomenal 80% ATS (12-3) in Best Bets for the NCAA Tournament, making him 67% ATS (51-25-1) in Best Bets since Dec. 18 and 63% ATS (68-40-2) this season. StatFox Scott is a strong 64% ATS (9-5-1) in Best Bets for the NCAA Tournament, 67% ATS (22-11-3) since Feb. 16 and 59% ATS (62-43-5) for the season. StatFox Gary is 59% ATS (56-39) on Best Bets since Nov. 22 and 56% ATS (60-47-2) for the season.

The Hoyas offense is slow and unimpressive, scoring 70.2 PPG (202nd in Div. I) on 46.0% shooting (85th in nation), hitting a paltry 5.3 threes per game on a 32.8% clip. They don't rebound well either (33.6 RPG, 241st in Div. I), but usually make up for it with better defense. However, Georgetown surrenders 67.3 PPG (103rd in nation) on 41.3% FG (32.3% threes) this season, numbers that are not great given its slow pace of play. The Hoyas are paced on offense by sophomore SG DíVauntes Smith-Rivera (17.4 PPG, 5.0 RPG, 2.7 APG), who erupted for 32 points and 10 rebounds against West Virginia. That marked his second straight 20-point game, and gives him a 21.3 PPG average in March where he's made all 22 of his free-throw attempts spanning four games. Smith-Rivera is joined in the backcourt by PG Markel Starks (17.0 PPG, 4.1 APG), who leads the team in assists, dishing seven against the Mountaineers as part of a huge all-around performance (14 points, 7 rebounds, 2 steals, 2 blocks). These two players are the lone double-digit scorers on the team, while SG Jabril Trawick (8.9 PPG, 3.1 RPG), who also played great versus WVU with 12 points, five assists and four boards, rounds out the club's usual three-guard backcourt. Down low, senior PF Nate Lubick (5.1 PPG, 5.5 RPG) is the teamís most productive rebounder, but has a mere 11 rebounds in four March games (2.8 RPG). Lubick usually gets help on the boards from SF Mikael Hopkins (6.2 PPG, 5.1 RPG), but he has as many fouls (eight) as rebounds over the past three games.

Florida State also likes to slow things down on offense with 70.4 PPG (200th in Div. I) on 46.5% shooting (65th in nation), tallying an unimpressive 10.9 APG (299th in Div. I). Defensively, they have held opponents to meager 39.9% FG (24th in nation) and 32.4% threes, but still allow 65.5 PPG (61st in Div. I). Part of that is due to a mediocre rebounding effort (34.7 RPG, 177th in nation). Sophomore SG Aaron Thomas (14.3 PPG, 4.0 RPG) is the teamís top scorer, scoring 22 points on 7-of-15 shooting against Florida Gulf Coast on Tuesday to give him 12 straight games with at least 13 points (17.5 PPG). He also averages a team-high 1.7 SPG. Senior PF Okaro White (13.3 PPG, 6.6 RPG) was the only other Seminoles player to reach double-figures against the Eagles on Tuesday, dropping 17 points with seven rebounds and four steals, as only five players got on the scoreboard for Florida State. White has been on a scoring binge during his past seven games where he's averaged 17.4 PPG on 53% FG, making at least half of his shots in six of those seven contests. Heady senior SG Ian Miller (13.7 PPG, 40% threes, 86% FT) rounds out the teamís double-digit scorers while sophomore SG Devon Bookert (7.9 PPG, 40% threes) always threatens with the deep ball. The Seminoles only hit 5.1 threes per game, but do so on a solid 37.1% clip. While White is the teamís top rebounder, 6-foot-7 swingman Montay Brandon (7.7 PPG, 5.0 RPG) and 7-foot-3 C Boris Bojanovsky (6.0 PPG, 4.0 RPG, 1.8 BPG) also make notable contributions on the glass.

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