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NCAA Tournament Third Round Preview: Florida State Vs. Notre Dame

At 9:30 PM tonight, the Florida State Seminoles (No. 10 seed) face off against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish (No. 2 seed) in a third round game. The game will be broadcast on TBS.

As the much higher seed, Notre Dame is a large favorite in tonight’s game, given a 70% chance of winning by Nate Silver from The New York Times. However, this could be an interesting game as Notre Dame and Florida State have very different styles of play: Notre Dame favors offense, while Florida State’s main strength is their defense.

Florida State’s success tonight could hinge upon Chris Singleton, who had only five points and two rebounds in the second round game against Texas A&M. That game was his first game action in a few months, though, as he was returning from a foot injury. Before his injury, Singleton was Florida State’s leading scorer and rebounder, and he could provide the Seminoles with an added offensive boost.

As for Notre Dame, SB Nation’s blog for the Seminoles has a preview of their key players:

With Harangody in the NBA this year’s Irish are led by five seniors starting with 6’3 G Ben Hansbrough and 6’8 forward Tim Abromaitis. Hansbrough (Tyler’s younger brother) played two seasons at Mississippi State before transferring (he was in the same recruiting class as Josue Soto). He’s a career 40+% three-point shooter, and this year is knocking them down at 43.7%, and leads the team in points (18.4), assists (4.3) and turnovers (2.5). Abromaitis is another elite shooter, and averages 15.3 a game largely by making 43.4% of his threes. He’s not a Scott Wood type player however, as he’s a true dual-threat scrorer. 6’8 forward Carleton Scott, who’s likely the biggest beneficiary of the slower offense, averages 11.4 a game (shoots 37.5% from three) and is the best defensive rebounder on the team. Forward Tyrone Nash, when he doesn’t foul out, is there to play defense and clean up the offensive glass. And the final senior is 6’8 Purdue transfer Scott Martin (a junior in eligibility but Notre Dame lists players according to their academic status). The big lefty guard is averaging 10 a game.

The winner of tonight’s game will move on to the Sweet Sixteen, and face the winner of tonight’s VCU/Purdue game. For more FSU coverage, head over to Tomahawk Nation.

Photographs by, thelastminute, turtlemom nancy , fesek, kthypryn, justinwright, sue_elias, pointnshoot, and scrapstothefuture used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.