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THE STORY: Miami was cruising along two weeks ago, but with three losses in the last four games, its NCAA Tournament hopes are less clear. The Hurricanes need to finish strong with three regular-season games left, starting with a visit from No. 16 Florida State. The Seminoles ended Miami’s five-game winning streak on Feb. 11 in Tallahassee 64-59 as Bernard James dominated inside with 18 points, six rebounds and four blocks. Miami has a balanced, productive offense, with four players averaging double figures. Florida State leads the ACC in field goal percentage defense and steals.
TV: 6 p.m. ET, ESPNU
ABOUT FLORIDA STATE (19-8, 10-3 ACC): The Seminoles had won 10 of 11 games before dropping a 74-66 decision to Duke on Thursday. Florida State only turned the ball over eight times, less than half its average, but allowed a season-high 13 from 3-point range. The Seminoles will have to get back to their stifling defense, which has allowed 37.2 percent shooting from the field and 29.9 percent on 3-point attempts. James continues to have a big season, averaging 10.5 points, 8.3 rebounds and 61.3 percent shooting from the field. Michael Snaer leads the balanced Seminoles with 13.7 points per game.
ABOUT MIAMI (16-10, 7-6): The Hurricanes are still looking for one more victory to match their ACC-best win total of eight (2007-08). They couldn’t hold onto a lead late at Maryland in the 75-70 loss Tuesday, but had extra rest to prepare for the Seminoles. Miami looks to forward Kenny Kadji and guard Durand Scott to lead the way offensively and is still waiting for guard Malcolm Scott to break out of a slump. Grant has only 35 points in the last six games. The Hurricanes need a better game from center Reggie Johnson, who had four points and six rebounds against the Seminoles in the first game.
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1. Miami has gotten 68 points combined off the bench the last three games.
2. James needs four blocks to become the fifth Florida State player to reach 150 for his career.
3. Florida State leads the all-time series 39-28.