A quick look at Florida State vs. FGCU in the NCAA Tournament

Published: Mar. 16, 2017 at 6:50 AM EDT
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ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) -- No. 3 Florida State (25-8) faces off against No. 14 seed Florida Gulf Coast (26-7) in the first round of the NCAA tournament's West Region in Orlando at 9:20 p.m. Thursday.

Here are some of the story lines to pay attention to for tonight's game.


Don't expect a lot of great defense, but this game has a chance to be one of the most explosive matchups of the first round. Both teams like to get up and down and they fly to the basket. Florida State has done it all season against a much more impressive slate of opponents in the ACC. But Florida Gulf Coast is capable of stunning some of the power programs. Just remember 2013 when the Eagles made it to the Sweet 16 as a No.15 seed.


The Seminoles had the toughest six-game stretch of any team in the nation when they faced ranked opponents in six straight games from Dec. 31 through Jan. 21. They went 5-1 during that span with wins over No. 11 Virginia, No. 21 Virginia Tech, No. 7 Duke, No. 15 Notre Dame and No. 21 Louisville. Their lone loss came against No.11 North Carolina (96-83) in Chapel Hill, North Carolina on Jan. 14.


It's no secret the Eagles like to attack the basket. They have a reputation for dominating the paint and dunking the basketball. The Eagles have 157 dunks this season, which exceeds their previous season high of 148 set during the 2012-13 season.


Florida Gulf Coast is 3-2 all-time in the NCAA Tournament and its .600 winning percentage is second among Atlantic Sun Conference teams. Florida State is the one of the tallest teams in the country, averaging 6-foot-6 per player.