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Game preview: Virginia at FSU basketball

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Virginia (11-4, 3-2 ACC) at No. 9 FSU (14-2, 4-1)

Time/TV: 7 p.m. ESPN2.

FSU potential starters: G Devin Vassell (12.3 ppg., 4.7 rpg.), G Trent Forrest (12.2 ppg., 4.0 assists), G M.J. Walker (11.6 ppg., 2.3 rpg.), F Malik Osborne (6.5 ppg., 5.2 rpg.), F RaiQuan Gray (6.1 ppg., 3.6 rpg.).

FSU reserves: F Patrick Williams (8.8 ppg., 3.3 rpg.), G Anthony Polite (6.3 ppg.), C Dominik Olejniczak (3.7 ppg., 2.2 rpg.).

Virginia potential starters: F Mamadi Diakite (12.9 peg, 6.9 rpg.), G Braxton Key (10.5, 7.7 rpg.), G Kihei Clark (10.1 ppg., 5.9 assists), F Jay Huff (8.9 ppg., 6.1 rpg.), G Kody Stattmann (5.4 ppg., 3.5 rpg.).

FSU will win if: The Seminoles break the slow-it-down, pack-line defense by making 3-pointers. FSU is improving in that regard as Walker is now connecting on 36.2 percent of 3s. The newer Seminoles have never played against Virginia, so it will be interesting to see how Osborne, Williams and Olejniczak adjust to the slow pace.

Virginia will win if: Diakite and Huff are physical down low, get baskets and go to the free-throw line. With just one healthy center in Olejniczak, FSU will often look to smaller lineups and feature Osborne and Gray as centers.

Bracket projections: It’s never too early to take a look at March. ESPN.com has FSU as a No. 3 seed in a regional at Tampa.

Tuck Talk: We preview FSU-Virginia, go 1-on-1 with Adrian Crawford and talk FSU women’s basketball in our latest podcast. Listen here or search for Osceola in the Apple podcast app.

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