Some analysts felt the matchup between Michigan State and Illinois was the ugliest games in recent memory; and we certainly don't want to take anything away from that game where the teams combined for 29-of- 104 (27.9 percent) from the field, including an especially atrocious 6-for-31 mark from 3-point range (19.3 percent). But this weekend's contest between the Virginia Cavaliers and Florida State Seminoles could be an even uglier slugfests. Let's take a look at this defensive showcase.
Virginia allows just 51.1 points per game, second-best in the nation, while Florida State lets up 10 points more per game, which is attributed to their faster pace of offense; Virginia plays at the third slowest pace in the country (60.4 possessions per game), FSU is surprisingly one of the more up-tempo teams at 70.3 possessions. To add on to this point, UVA is 18th in the country defensively, allowing opponents to shoot just 38.9 percent from the floor, while Florida State is amongst the nation's elite, fourth in the nation at 37 percent field-goal defense. Both teams are stellar at defending the perimeter, where the Cavs rank fifth in the country (27 percent) and FSU is 11th at 28.3 percent.
And considering neither team stands out with their offense (UVA: 64.3 points per game, 46 field-goal percent, 34.4 3-point percentage) Florida State: 72.1 points per game, 45.8 field-goal percentage, 34.1 3-point percentage), the defenses should really shine in this one.
The difference between this two teams and the area of emphasis will be rebounding. Florida State has a massive rotation with four bodies 6'8" or bigger, while UVA, without center Assane Sene (ankle injury), has just two frontcourt bodies standing at 6'8" and is really undersized the rest of the way. The Seminoles certainly have the size and the athleticism to keep Cavalier forward Mike Scott off the boards and off the low-post on offense.