The NIT Final Four has arrived and in the second game tonight the top-ranked Florida State Seminoles take on the Minnesota Golden Gophers. The game is scheduled for a 9 p.m. start time and it will be televised nationally on ESPN2. Currently the odds for the game have Florida State favored by a single point in this matchup in the NIT semifinals.
Both Minnesota and Florida State were tabbed as "No. 1 seeds" for the NIT. The opposite NIT semifinal will pit Clemson and SMU. All four teams had dreams of making the NCAA Tournament, but a Final Four in the NIT must be a decent consolation prize. These four teams could have folded up, but each of them found a way to continue playing hard and now will face off at Madison Square Garden.
In this game between the Seminoles and Golden Gophers, the oddsmakers have listed Florida State as a 1-point favorite. The Seminoles knocked off Florida Gulf Coast, Georgetown and Louisiana Tech to reach the NIT Final Four. The Seminoles won a game played in the 50s, a high-scoring affair over the Hoyas were they eclipsed the 100-mark and knocked off Louisiana Tech in a game played in the 70s. The game tonight against Minnesota won't be played in the 50s and should be a game that sees quite a few points.
Minnesota beat High Point, Saint Mary's and Southern Mississippi to reach the NIT Final Four. They've reached the 80-point mark in victories over High Point and Southern Miss but also won a lower-scoring affair over Saint Mary's, 63-55. We expect this game tonight to have no problem being played in the 70s.
Andre Hollins has not had a great tournament so far, scoring just 23 combined points in three games. Austin Hollins went off against Southern Miss, scoring 32 points and connecting on all 10 of his free throws. Joey King tossed in 15 points against Southern Miss as well while Maurice Walker played 25 minutes and chipped in with a dozen points.
Florida State got a bulk of its points against Southern Miss from their starters. Aaron Thomas had 21 points and nine boards while Okaro White added 20 points and eight rebounds in only 22 minutes of action. Devon Bookert collected 11 while Montay Brandon added 10. Ian Miller also played 29 minutes in that game and finished with nine points.
In this contest we like the matchup between Elliot Eliason and Boris Bojanovsky in the middle. Neither is the main player on their squad but both can be very effective in the interior. The team that rebounds the ball better in this contest will get the win at Madison Square Garden and play for an NIT title. We like Minnesota to run the floor, score points and get the victory tonight.
Free Pick: Minnesota 80, Florida State 75
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