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NCAA Tournament preview: Florida State Seminoles vs. VCU Rams

Tonight: Southwest region semifinal

No. 10 Florida State vs. No. 11 VCU

When/Where: 9:57; Alamodome, San Antonio, Texas

TV/RADIO: TBS; 1040-AM

enrollments: FSU 40,255; VCU 32,000

records: FSU 23-10; VCU 26-11

How they got here: FSU d. No. 7 Texas A&M 57-50, d. No. 2 Notre Dame 71-57; VCU d. USC 59-46, d. No. 6 Georgetown 74-56, d. No. 3 Purdue 94-76

key stat: FSU leads the nation in field-goal percentage defense, holding opponents to 36 percent.

the buzz: VCU is the first team to win three games to get to the Sweet 16; the Rams pulled away late to down USC in a play-in. VCU has shut down a frontcourt-oriented team (USC), a backcourt-oriented team (Georgetown) and a solid all-around offensive team (Purdue). FSU is more than VCU's match defensively, and the Seminoles' size will cause problems for the smallish Rams. Still, VCU's defensive pressure will bother FSU, which averages 15.9 turnovers a game. Forcing turnovers and scoring in transition are musts for VCU, which relies heavily on 3-pointers. Three Rams are dangerous from beyond the arc: PG Joey Rodriguez, swingman Bradford Burgess and reserve G Brandon Rozzell. FSU is mediocre from beyond the arc but should have success in the low post. FSU has 108 more turnovers than assists; VCU will try to force turnovers by Gs Derwin Kitchen and Luke Loucks, a former Clearwater High standout. VCU senior F Jamie Skeen, who began his career at Wake Forest (this will be his fourth game against FSU), is the Rams' only low-post threat. He has 41 points and 16 rebounds in the tournament, and he has to be productive on the boards tonight.

Rivals.com

Tale of the tape

FSUvcu

69.0 Points 71.9

61.7 Opp. points 66.8

.437 FG pct. .436

.360 Opp. FG pct. .449

.333 3-pt. pct. .364

.301 Opp. 3-pt. pct. .343

6.2 3-pointers 8.3

6.7 Opp. 3-pointers 5.5

.665 FT pct. .718

4.5; Reb. margin -3.3

-0.8 Turnover diff. 3.6

8.5 Steals 8.3

6.0 Blocks 3.6

NCAA Tournament preview: Florida State Seminoles vs. VCU Rams 03/24/11 [Last modified: Thursday, March 24, 2011 9:26pm]
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