Florida State Vs. Virginia: Seminoles Hope To Clinch First-Round Bye In ACC Tournament

Feb 23, 2012; Tallahassee, FL, USA; Florida State Seminoles guard Michael Snaer (21) tries to keep the ball from Duke Blue Devils guard Austin Rivers (0) during the first half of the game at the Donald L. Tucker Center. Mandatory Credit: Melina Vastola-US PRESSWIRE

The Seminoles travel north for a Showdown with Virginia on Thursday evening. Can the Seminoles clinch a first round bye in the ACC basketball tournament?

The Florida State Seminoles travel north to Charlottesville, VA to face the Virginia Cavaliers in the penultimate game of the regular season. The Seminoles have lost their last two games, against Duke and Miami, but won the first matchup against the Cavaliers in Tallahassee on Feb. 4 58-55. Both teams are in contention for a first round bye in the ACC Men's Basketball Tournament, but Florida State can clinch a bye with a victory against Virginia.

The Seminoles have won six consecutive games against the Cavaliers and have never lost to them while Virginia head coach Tony Bennett has been at the helm. The biggest key to this game is that the Seminoles have to limit the turnovers. While they lead the ACC in takeaways, averaging 15.8 per game, they also give away the ball an ACC-worst 16.5 times per game.

If the turnovers become an issue, the Seminoles will need scoring help from guard Michael Snaer, averaging 13.4 points per game. Forward Bernard James averages 10.4 points and 8.3 rebounds per game and will be crucial for getting second chance opportunities. Guard Luke Loucks averages 4 assists per game, so he will need to be at his best passing and ball control wise to limit the turnovers.

The Seminoles defense will also have to contend with slowing down Virginia forward Mike Scott, averaging 16.9 points per game and also hitting an ACC-best 57.3 percent of his shots. However, Scott's point per game average against the Seminoles, 8.2 points, is the lowest against any ACC team.

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