(23) Miami Hurricanes (-2.5, 133 o/u) at Florida State Seminoles
Even though it’s Super Bowl Sunday, other sports are deigning to play games.
This afternoon, two bitter ACC rivals will go head-to-head in Tallahassee, as the Florida State Seminoles (11-10, 3-5 ACC) host the No. 23 Miami Hurricanes (14-6, 4-3 ACC).
The Hurricanes roared to an 8-0 start this year, posting top-25 wins over Florida and Illinois. They came back down to Earth after losses to Green Bay, Eastern Kentucky, and Providence; but head coach Jim Larrañaga has done a nice job of settling his team down since then. The Hurricanes are a game above .500 through a tough stretch of ACC games, which included road tilts with Duke and Notre Dame.
Unfortunately for Larrañaga and company, the team’s most concerning game was also its most recent; the Canes were drubbed 70-50 at home by Georgia Tech, which came into the game winless in the ACC. The game was never really in doubt, as Tech jumped out to an early ten-point lead and the Canes were unable to get within six thereafter.
After the game, Larrañaga lamented his team’s inconsistency. “This team probably has the widest range of performance I’ve ever seen. … They can be absolutely great one night, and you just don’t recognize them the next day,” the coach told the Associated Press.
The Canes will look to rebound tonight against their instate rivals. At 3-5 in conference play, the Seminoles are already 4.5 games back of first-place Virginia. But they’re just 1.5 back of Miami and can inch closer to the Canes with a win tonight.
Unlike Miami, Florida State doesn’t have any top-25 wins under its belt this season. The Seminoles were blown out by 20 at Notre Dame and, two games ago, lost by four to UNC.
The team followed up the loss to the Tar Heels with an uninspiring double-OT win at home against ACC basement-dwellers Wake Forest. The good news for the Noles was that highly touted freshman Xavier Rathan Mayes looked every bit the five-star prospect scouts drooled over last year. The 6’4″ guard had 21 points on 53-percent shooting, upping his season average to 14.2 PPG.
Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton remarked that Mayes seemed to mature over the course of the game. The Seminoles, who are just 8-3 at home and have already lost to Northeastern, Nebraska, and NC State, will need Rathan Mayes to continue to grow tonight against a motivated Miami Hurricanes.
With Miami eager to put the Georgia Tech game behind them, take the Canes and lay the points (-2.5).
(Photo credit: Thomson20192 (flickr) [https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/legalcode]. Photo has been cropped.)