7 p.m. Jan. 31 – Miami @ No. 24 Florida State
The Seminoles (17-3, 5-2 ACC) have stumbled of a late, dropping two of their last five games, but enter this matchup firmly in the top half of the Atlantic Coast Conference.
Florida State relies heavily on juniors Kiah Gillespie, Nicki Ekhomu, and Nausia Woolfolk. The trio combine for nearly two-thirds of the team’s scoring output with Gillespie doing the most damage, leading FSU with 17.1 points and 9.1 rebounds.
Miami’s post duo of Emese Hof and Beatrice Mompremier, who leads the ACC with 16 double-doubles, will be leaned on to combat the Seminoles’ inside threats.
The battle in the paint is relatively even, but where Miami (18-4, 6-1 ACC) has a huge advantage is from behind the arc.
FSU shoots a dreadful 26.5 percent from 3-point range, tied for the 28th-worst mark in the country.
Conversely, the Hurricanes have hit 36.9 percent of their attempts from deep, a top-20 mark. Redshirt junior Laura Cornelius is the all-time leader in 3-point percentage in program history, shooting just under 40 percent across her illustrious career.
Miami is just 14-44 all-time against Florida State, but look for the Canes to ride a big shooting advantage to their fifth straight victory.
Prediction: Miami 78 — Florida State 71
1 p.m. Feb. 3 – Miami vs. Virginia
Believe it or not, the Super Bowl isn’t the only sporting event happening this Sunday.
Miami returns to the Watsco Center for a matinee matchup with the Virginia Cavaliers.
The Cavaliers (8-12, 2-5 ACC) have struggled this season, picking up just two wins in the ACC. UVA’s lone conference victories came against Pittsburgh and Virginia Tech, who sit last in the league.
Virginia averages just 58 points per game and misses nearly 65 percent of their shots, both marks ranking in the bottom half of the nation.
However, one area where the Cavs excel is free-throw shooting. Virginia hits more than 75 percent of its shots from the charity stripe, which ranks as one of the top-20 figures in the country.
If the Hurricanes can avoid fouling the Cavaliers leading scorers, juniors Jocelyn Willoughby and Dominique Toussaint, expect Miami to play sound defense and coast to a comfortable win.
Prediction: Miami 85 — Virginia 63