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No. 3 Florida State vs. No. 14 Florida Gulf Coast preview: Game time, broadcast, betting line, prediction

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The Florida State Seminoles (25-8) are the No. 3 seed in the West Region, and will take on the No. 14 seed Florida Gulf Coast (26-7). The game will be played at the Amway Center in Orlando, FL on Thursday, March 16.

Preview: Florida State clinched the No. 3 seed with big wins over Duke, Florida, Louisville, Minnesota, Notre Dame, and Miami and Virginia Tech twice each. The 'Noles have one of the deepest rotations in the country, and are led by sophomore guard Dwayne Bacon, who averages 16.9 points per game.

FGCU, affectionately known as Dunk City, reached the NCAA Tournament after defeating North Florida in the Atlantic Sun championship game. Junior guard Brandon Goodwin leads the way for the Eagles, with 18.2 points per game.

You can check out the entire NCAA Tournament bracket here. You can also see how the committee ranked the teams 1-68 here.

Date: Thursday, March 16

Time: 9:20 p.m. ET

TV Channel: TNT

Location: Amway Center in Orlando, FL

Announcers: Ian Eagle, Steve Lavin, Evan Washburn

Opening Betting Line: Florida State -11, via OddsShark

Florida State and FGCU have faced off one time, a 58-53 Seminoles win in the first round of the 2014 NIT.

The Seminoles are in their first NCAA Tournament since 2012. That year, the 'Noles were also a No. 3 seed, beating St. Bonaventure in the first round before losing to No. 6 seed Cincinnati 62-56. This is FSU's 15th NCAA Tournament appearance. The program has advanced to four Sweet 16s, two Elite Eights, and made the 1972 Final Four.

Florida Gulf Coast is in its second straight NCAA Tournament and third appearance since 2013. Last season, FGCU beat Fairleigh Dickinson in a No. 16 seed match-up in the First Four, before losing to No. 1 seed North Carolina. The program defined itself, however, in 2013, when as a No. 15 seed, the program dunked all over No. 2 Georgetown and No. 7 San Diego State before falling to Florida in the Sweet 16.

Prediction: Florida Gulf Coast is always fun to have around, considering the madness of 2013, and the Eagles will be up for this game against one of their state's power programs. However, Florida State is a very strong team this year, with 11 players playing at least 11 minutes per game, two dynamic scoring guards in Bacon and Xavier Rathan-Mayes, and plenty of size.

FGCU might hang around, but we like Florida State to advance.

The post No. 3 Florida State vs. No. 14 Florida Gulf Coast Preview: Game Time, Broadcast, Betting Line, Prediction appeared first on The Spun.

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