Florida State Seminoles vs North Carolina Tarheels: Predictions, Odds and Roster Notes

How to Watch

Where: Dean Smith Center in Chapel Hill, NC, USA.

When: Saturday, February 23rd at 3:45pm EST.

How (TV/Radio): CBS |

Florida State Seminoles

Head Coach: Leonard Hamilton {Overall: 21-5, .808 W-l% | Conference: 9-4, T-4th in ACC}

Despite sitting in the top half of the Atlantic Coast Conference standings, Florida State has been a puzzling team to say the least. The Seminoles have padded their NCAA tournament resume with wins over well regarded teams such as Purdue, Louisville, and Syracuse. Unfortunately, they have also played down to their competition and lost to the likes of Pittsburgh and Boston College. The Seminoles face a big test, as they head to a venue where they have not won at since February of 2010.

The Seminoles are coming off a quality road win on February 19th against the Clemson Tigers. Florida State prevailed 77-64, powered by sophomore big man Mfiondu Kabengele, who came off the bench to score 19 points and grab 11 rebounds. Defense has been a common strength for Leonard Hamilton coached teams and that was evident in this win based on Clemson’s sub 40% shooting night.

North Carolina Tarheels

Head Coach: Roy Williams {Overall: 21-5, .808 W-L% | Conference: 11-2, T-1st in ACC}

The Tarheels travel down Tobacco Road back to Chapel Hill to host the Seminoles after hammering their arch-rivals, Duke. North Carolina won comfortably over the Blue Devils 88-72 on February 20th as Luke Maye dropped 30 points to go with 15 rebounds, while fellow senior Cameron Johnson poured in 26 points. A big catalyst in the win was the absence of freshman phenom, Zion Williamson, who exited the game with a knee injury on Duke’s first possession.

With the Tarheels coming off a crucial win over their biggest rival, this game against Florida State could serve as a trap. It should be noted, however that North Carolina has dominated the Seminoles in recent years, winning 7 of the last 10 matchups.

Florida State Roster Notes

Florida State has no roster news to report.

North Carolina Roster Notes

Sophomore centre Sterling Manley was downgraded to out for the Duke game due to a knee injury after being listed as questionable prior to that game.

Freshman forward Rechon “Leaky” Black is still out indefinitely with an ankle injury suffered on January 29th.

Head-to-Head: Mfiondu Kabengele vs Garrison Brooks

Mfiondu Kabengele

Power Forward | 6-10, 250lb (208cm, 113kg) | Corpus Christi HS | Burlington, ON, Canada| Sophomore

13.4 PPG | 0.3 APG | 5.6 RPG | 0.6 SPG | 1.2 BPG | 1.2 TOV | .529 FG% | .395 3P%

Garrison Brooks

Power Forward | 6-9, 230lb (206cm, 104kg) | Auburn HS | Lafayette, AL | Sophomore

8.2 PPG | 1.5 APG | 6.2 RPG | 0.6 SPG | 0.5 BPG | 1.0 TOV | .556 FG% | .000 3P%

The matchup to focus on for this game is between two sophomore power forwards whose styles of play are nearly polar opposites of each other. Nonetheless, their playing styles have allowed them to carve out roles that fit perfectly with the needs of their respective teams.

Initially viewed as a project, Mfiondu Kabengele has proven to be worth the wait for his coaches at Florida State. After redshirting the 2017 season, the nephew of NBA great, Dikembe Mutombo, has shown steady improvement game by game. Not only has he been taking on larger scoring loads as the season professes, his foul struggles have become a thing of the past after fouling out in five games earlier in the season.

Unlike Kabengele, Garrison Brooks is more of an old school power forward. The sophomore from Alabama has yet to attempt a three pointer in his college career, which goes against the current trend of interior players jacking up long range shots. Brooks carries on the recent run of solid rebounding bigs at North Carolina, although his numbers do not necessarily show that due to Luke Maye eating up many of those rebounding opportunities.

Florida State at North Carolina Predictions and Odds

Oddsmakers have North Carolina listed as a 7 point favourite against Florida State, while the over/under is currently 158.