On the heels of their Final Four run a season ago, the Florida Atlantic is looking to have another big year, and a win against the Virginia Tech Hokies on Sunday would go a long way in doing so.
Florida Atlantic Owls (-3, 151.5) vs. Virginia Tech Hokies
A big reason why Florida Atlantic had the success that they did a season ago was balance as the team was in the top 28 in the country in both points scored and points allowed on a per possession basis.
With nearly everyone except Michael Forrest back from that Final Four team, they retain a lot of the same characters from a season ago, and that is being able to play at any rate of speed, going from playing games where first to 60 points one night wins to a game where both teams approach 80 points the next game.
A season ago, Florida Atlantic was about as close to a mid-tempo team as possible, ranking 178th out if 363 Division I teams in possessions per game and entered the weekend 244th in that category this season.
The Owls look to shut down a Virginia Tech team that is playing at a controlled pace, ranking 258h nationally in possessions per game entering Saturday, and using that tempo to execute on offense.
Both teams have been efficient on the offensive end with Virginia Tech entering the weekend 17th in points scored per possession and Florida Atlantic 14th, but both teams have traits the could lead this game featuring more defense than expected.
For Virginia Tech, they have had a difficult time getting second chances, ranking 219th in percentage of missed shots that result in an offensive rebound while Florida Atlantic might be in danger of turning the ball over more than normal.
The Hokies entered the weekend 40th in the country in turnovers forced per offensive play while and will need to turn defensive into immediate offense with the way the Owls have cut off passing lanes.
With Florida Atlantic currently fifth in the country in lowest percentage of opponents made field goals that involved an assist, it will lead to a choppy game without a lot of flow and fewer points than expected.
The Play: Florida Atlantic vs. Virginia Tech Under 151.5