Watch :2021 NCAA Tournament preview, TV schedule, prediction
Florida State basketball and the Michigan Wolverines take the court Sunday afternoon in a Sweet Sixteen matchup that could shape up to be the best of the weekend.
TV Schedule: Sunday, March 28, 5 p.m. ET, CBS
Where: Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, IN
Line (via Odds Shark): Michigan (-3.5)
There’s nothing like a heavyweight fight between two basketball powerhouses. No. 4 Florida State basketball (18-6) has been a staple at the top of the ACC for a while under Leonard Hamilton. The No. 1 Michigan Wolverines (22-4) are exceeding expectations despite playing without their senior leader Isaiah Livers in the NCAA Tournament. Will that come to an end against the Seminoles on Sunday.
Florida State basketball has a distinct size and length advantage over the Wolverines. Balsa Koprivica has played solid minutes for the Seminoles in the tournament. It’s not hard to see the impact that Scottie Barnes has had on both ends of the floor. Raiquan Gray is a guy who continues to impress and improve with every game he plays.
He does everything on the floor. He can score, rebound and pass efficiently. We can’t forget about Malik Osbourne. He scored 11 points and secured five rebounds in the Seminoles’ win over the five-seed Colorado Buffaloes in the second round.
The size and length of Florida State basketball are going to pose matchup problems for the Wolverines.
An X-factor player to watch in this game for the Seminoles is Anthony Polite. He put on a stellar performance against the Buffaloes with a game-high 22 points, five rebounds, four assists, and four steals. He has been a steady presence on the floor.
M.J. Walker is one of the best players in school history. He needs to take control of a game in this tournament and Sunday against Michigan would be a perfect time.
It’s been the next man up mentality for the Wolverines without Livers. Mike Smith has been phenomenal. The former Columbia Lion transferred to Michigan to be on the biggest stages and perform at a high level.
He’s been doing exactly that. His 18-point, 15-assist, and five rebound performance against the Maryland Terrapins in the Big Ten Semis was only the beginning of his playoff footprint. He is the perfect facilitator for the Wolverines, and he can hurt a defense with his speed and quickness when driving to the basket.
Hunter Dickinson has been a dominant presence inside for the Wolverines and other than the Gonzaga Bulldogs if they advance, the Seminoles will be the toughest frontcourt he has faced all season. The Seminoles will do a lot to make him uncomfortable.
As we’ve seen already, taking him out of the game, won’t solve the puzzle. The Wolverines have other players that can make an impact.
Expect Franz Wagner and Chaundee Brown to be factors in this game. Both of those players provide the Wolverines with three-point shooting, and they attack the rim well.
The game is going to come down to who owns the paint. Florida State basketball may have the size advantage, but the Wolverines can still get to the rim anytime they want. Rebounding and second-chance points will be something to watch also.